Big Fish: Edward Bloom's Failure as a Father

1490 Words Jul 20th, 2012 6 Pages
Big Fish: Edward Bloom’s Failure as a Father
Creating and overseeing a decent family relationship between a parent and their children is not simple. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children grow up in a nurturing environment. Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish explores the mythical life of Edward Bloom, a great man who lacks the realistic element of sharing his history and inner thoughts. He also has an egocentric personality which urges him to pursue his dreams instead of family; resulting in his failure as a father to his only son. In Wallace’s Big Fish, it elucidates Edward’s many errors that lead him to be the explanation as to why his relationship with his son is so conflicting.

Firstly, the poor father-son
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For instance, it states in the novel that Edward “lived in a state of constant aspiration” (fifteen) and that “getting there, wherever it was, wasn’t the important thing: it was the battle, and the battle after that, and the war was never ending.” (fifteen) It also states that he worked and he worked (fifteen), meaning he was working instead of being with William and Sandra. Due to his low self-esteem, he used almost all his time trying to prove himself as who he wants to be, rather than playing the correct role as a good father to William and a reliable husband towards Sandra. Edward inconsiderately does not want to give up on his legacy to his son because he wants to remain the great man he is. For example, Edward “expected more” (120) back when William was born. He expected “a muted brilliance, a glow, maybe even a halo of some kind.” (120) Since William is such an ordinary child compared to Edward, he believes that his son is not worth of inheriting his identity; hence explaining why William’s knowledge of Edward is limited to a mythical and unrealistic level.

Last but not least, Edward Bloom is at fault for the poor relationship built up over the years of him and son mainly by the reason of him choosing his dream and job over his family. As Edward pursues his dream of becoming a great man, he was rarely at home. William even referred to their home in Edward’s eyes as a “refueling station” (fifteen).
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