An analysis of chapter 1 of the death of the father

Moore runs upstairs to the room he shares with his youngest sister, Shani, unsure of why his mother is so angry.

An analysis of chapter 1 of the death of the father

Moore runs upstairs to the room he shares with his youngest sister, Shani, unsure of why his mother is so angry. He then hears his father telling his mother not to be too hard on him, as yelling at a young boy will likely not do much good in the long run.

Moore explains that he was named after his father, Westley, and that he has two middle names, Watende Omari. As his parents continue to argue, Moore looks out of his bedroom window, where he spots a friend walking down the street—the only person he knows with green eyes.

On the dresser is a picture of himself and Nikki; she is seven years older than he is and her real first name is Joy, the same as their mother. The opening scene of this chapter reveals that Moore comes from a close-knit community.

Although his mother is strict, she is clearly motivated by a deep concern that Moore grows up to be a compassionate, responsible person. Active Themes Joy immigrated to the United States at three years old from a quiet, rural part of Jamaica, where her family had lived on the same land for generations.

She enrolled in American University inwhere she became involved with the black student organization. The treasurer of the organization was a man named Bill, to whom Joy quickly got engaged and, after another two years, married.

However, Bill was addicted to alcohol and drugs, and after the couple had a child Nikkihe became increasingly violent toward Joy. After one particularly awful episode, Joy pulled a knife on Bill, ordering him to never touch her again; within a month, she and Nikki had left him for good.

To some extent, Joy comes from a position of class privilege; her family in Jamaica own their own land and her father moves to the United States to pursue higher education. On the other hand, this class privilege does not protect Joy from racial discrimination or the horror of an abusive marriage.

Active Themes The chapter jumps back to the three-year-old Moore in his room. He assures Moore that his mother loves him, and brings him down to apologize to Joy and Nikki.

Moore looks admiringly at his father, hoping to imitate him in every way. He admits that this is only one of two memories he has of Westley, and that the other is of witnessing him die. Active Themes Moore explains that, as a young person, Westley was both gifted and extraordinarily driven.

He graduates from Bard College in and immediately begins a successful career as a reporter, traveling all over the country before returning to Maryland in order to host his own radio program. It is in this position that he meets Joy, who loves how different he is from Bill. The two marry, and Moore is born.

Three years later, Westley is feeling ill as he finishes work, and that night has trouble sleeping. In the morning, he goes to the hospital; later that day, Joy is shocked to find him unable to open his eyes or hold his head up.

The doctors presume Westley is exaggerating and that he is only suffering from a sore throat. They send him home with an anesthetic, but later that evening, he collapses down the stairs, unable to breathe. Through making good choices, Westley gains a rewarding career and loving family.

When the medics arrive, Nikki makes Moore wait outside the house. Eventually, the ambulance take Westley away, with Joy and the children following in the car.

At the hospital, they wait with other relatives before a doctor announces that Westley has died, at which point Joy passes out.

The next day, an autopsy reveals that Westley had contracted a rare virus called acute epiglottitis, which he could have survived had it been accurately detected and treated. Moore thus shows that we must often make decisions before we fully understand how they will affect our futures.

As he packs, Mary wipes tears from her eyes after reading a letter informing her that her Pell Grant has been terminated.

The first in her family to attend college, Mary receives her associates degree from the Community College of Baltimore. When the grant is terminated, she is forced to drop out of Johns Hopkins in order to survive. Like Westley, Mary is an example of someone whose hard work and dedication was suddenly undermined by a random act of misfortune.

Her experience shows that no matter how responsible a person tries to be, they can never ensure that opportunities remain open to them.

An analysis of chapter 1 of the death of the father

As Moore notes, Mary is already socially excluded from the world of Johns Hopkins and other elite institutions due to her race and class; her one opportunity to access this world and achieve social mobility was then dashed by federal cuts to public assistance. Despite the termination of her Pell Grant, Mary still dreams of leaving her Baltimore neighborhood behind, perhaps by becoming an entrepreneur.

Although Mary was only a child when the riots took place, it was at this moment that she resolved to one day leave the neighborhood behind forever.

Although the riots of the s were extremely destructive and chaotic, Moore is sympathetic to the pain that initially sparked them. After centuries of oppression, poor African Americans were driven to extreme action in order to make their voices heard.

While the riots ultimately had a negative impact on the city of Baltimore, this is not necessarily the fault of those who rioted.Prior to publication of The Dead Father, the self-contained “Manual for Sons,” which appears within chapter 17 and has, mirroring the novel, twenty-three chapters of its own, had appeared in.

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Sign In Sign Up. Lit. Guides. Lit. Terms. Shakespeare. Translations. LitCharts: He then hears his father telling his mother not to be too hard on him, as yelling at a young boy will likely not do much good in the long .

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