Comparing Brad Manning’s Arm Wrestling With My Father and Itabari Njeri’s When Morpheus Held Him

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Comparing Brad Manning’s short story “Arm Wrestling With My Father,” and Itabari Njeri’s “When Morpheus Held Him”

The relationship between a father and son stems from an unspoken competition in many countries. Whether it is a physical or mental rivalry the superior role slowly transcends on to the son as he grows into a man. In Brad Manning’s short story “Arm Wrestling With My Father,” and Itabari Njeri’s “When Morpheus Held Him,” both contain admiring sons and impassive fathers. Despite both stories similarities in unspoken emotions they differ in the aspect of their physical relationships. This unrequited bond between a father and son in these stories portray various types of love.

Throughout Brad Manning’s anecdote
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Young sons typically envy their father figure. Many sons are astonished at their father’s ability to be flawless. Laughing, “through his perfect white teeth,” shows Brad’s positive envy of his father’s appearance. In disgust, Njeri describes his father’s “hairy legs,” “breasts that could fill a B cup,” and “balding head.” Njeri describes his father with a loathsome tone. Brad and his father’s “senior class” in high school admired his father’s impeccable physique. His father worked hard on roads and dredges when he was younger, creating his impenetrable strength. Manning concludes “I admired him for that.” Dr. Moreland’s “beer belly [weighed] down the waistband of his shorts.” Dr. Moreland radiates a sloth like appearance from his son’s less than flattering description. As Manning grew older his admiration faded into sympathy and pity. “I was feeling sorry for my father,” as “our roles begun to switch.” The torch was passed on to the now adult son leaving Manning with a feeling of regret. As Dr. Moreland’s, “drunken rages ended,” Njeri felt safe, as his father lay out, drunk with sleep. “Morpheus held him,” close giving him an innocent face. As Manning’s story concludes, Brad reciprocates the love and emotions his father enclosed, “in that language [they] shared.” Manning’s admiration remains just as strong in the remainder of the story, and he comes to terms with his father’s unique form of bonding. Itabari’s father hold’s himself with immense