Theme Of A Conversation With My Father

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This paper explores Grace Paley's A Conversation with my Father, which was first published in the New American Review (1972), from a feminist perspective precisely using terms by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar. A Conversation with my Father is about storytelling; the daughter entertains her father by telling him a story; hence, storytelling as an art is at the center of this study. The main theme of the story is considered to be a generation gap between the female author and her father, yet it mainly deconstructs the image of the father and the daughter into a dialectical female and male binary opposition. Consequently, this leads to a new meaning that shows the intricacy of the art of storytelling which informs a re-construction of gender roles. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on the complex role of the female narrator who verbally informs her father of her artistic creation of the story, and the complex role of her father who criticizes her story, and asks her to re-write it from his male perspective.…show more content…
Later on, the son leaves his mother in grief and leaves the town. The hopeless woman stays alone by herself and the neighbors visit her. This story disappoints the father who once more compares it to the stories written by Chekhov and Turgenev. He believes that the story is plain. Indeed, Paley represents the ordeal of women as explained by Bradstreet: “Do badly and you will be mocked but do well and your authorship will be denied” (qtd. in Plain and Sellers, p. 33). At this level, the narrator and her father have a different understanding about literature, style and characters. The main character in this story is a female character; the father demanded a physical description for this woman while the daughter did not see the need for that detail. In comparison, the father didn’t require any
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