Analysis Of The Poem Those Winter Sundays By Robert Hayden

858 WordsMar 15, 20174 Pages
The relationship between a father and son is the most sacred relation which may eventually shape the son’s identity and emotional stability in life. Some children are fortunate to be raised with a nurturing and interactive father, while others are unfortunate to receive a straightforward and “indifferent” bond and relation. During the 20th century, men were expected to fulfill the traditional role of a financial provider and sole breadwinner of the family. Men were deemed effeminate and unmanly if they expressed their emotions. Regarding love, unsaid words are often interpreted to misconceptions. The unexpressed sentiments and hostility towards a child transformed into abhorrence regarding the parents. In “Those Winter Sundays,” Robert…show more content…
Under his “cold and rough” skin, the father was “warm.” His simple actions had uncovered his fierce and tough love for the family. For instance, he “had driven out [in] the cold/ and polished [his son’s] good shoes” (Hayden 11-12). The father did not expect acknowledgment or gratitude; he simply was following his concept of fatherly obligations. The narrator’s father is depicted as quiet and reserved. On the surface, the father seems rigid and stern, but his actions contradicted the assumptions. The author would fear the “chronic angers of that house,” but he would wake up from the “cold splintering” of the house, noticing that his father would not wake his family until “the rooms were warm” (Hayden 6-7,9). He “banked [the] fires blaze” (Hayden 5) to ensure the fire burns at a low constant. He was satisfied with the bare minimum of his relationship and did not need the sparks or flames to be content. Although he was not verbally expressive, the value of his physical actions indicates his emotions. Hayden uses the characterization of the son through winter imagery to reveal the overwhelmed guilt the son embodies to demonstrate the son’s transition from ingratitude to recognition and remorse. In all likelihood, as a child the narrator probably strived for his father’s attention and love;
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