A Father's Regrets in Those Winter Sundays Robert Hayden Essay

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Often times in life, people begin to appreciate relationships when reflecting on one’s previous actions and regretting what one has done. In “Those Winter Sundays,” Robert Hayden describes how a son remembers his father’s sufferings and sacrifices that he did not appreciate in the past. Hayden uses visual and auditory imagery, personification, alliteration, and drastic shifts in tone to show how the son recognizes his father’s physical and emotional pain, and regrets his former indifference. Hayden utilizes visual and auditory imagery to demonstrate the father’s discomfort and sacrifice. Readers get a sense of the deadly, frostbite coldness through “blueblack cold” (2). Visual images such as the “blueblack cold” create a painful, frigid…show more content…
Hayden also uses figurative language, such as alliteration and personification, to further illustrate the father’s arduous work and the son’s indifference. For example, Hayden repeats “w” sounds in “weekday weather” to create a sense of long, tiring weekdays rather than short, refreshing weekends (4). Such emphasized phrase shows that the father is continuously hard-working, taking care of his family even on Sundays, as stated in line 1. Also, “labor” that precedes the “weekday weather” further accentuates the father’s strenuous work done for the family throughout the week. Soon after establishing persistent presence of the father’s sacrifice, “banked fires blaze” highlights the father’s perpetual effort to make a better environment for the family through the stressed constance sound of “b” (5). Such drum-like sounds make a physical demonstration of the flames’ beating through the repetitive consonant sound. While alliteration indicates the continual sacrifices that the father makes, personification reveals some tense, cold parts of the father-son relationship, possibly resulting from the family’s indifference and ingratitude. Some anger is present between the son and the father, as shown through “the chronic angers of the house” (9). By personifying the house as “chronic [and angry],” Hayden indicates the unwanted heat of the house created by the father. The son, unable
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