Essay: Analysis of My Papa’s Waltz
The boy acknowledges that his father is a drunkard but at the same time, he is responsible. When the author uses “The whiskey on your breath” (l. 1), as his first line he is telling the audience that they are expecting an irresponsible father. The author wants to create the impression that the father of the narrator is an irresponsible man who does not care about his family. When the narrator says that “The hand that held my wrist/Was battered on one knuckle” (l.9-10) he is telling the audience there is tension brewing in the house that ought to be addressed before it gets out of hand. In the real sense, there is no tension; the problem is that the mother of the boy is worried that his drug husband might injure their son. The uneasiness that is brewing in the house is shown in the face of the mother when the narrator says that the fear in her “could not unfrown itself”. (l. 8). The boy is not worried but his mother does not like the idea of his son getting injured by the drunken father.
To prove that the father is hard working is shown when the narrator says that “beat time on my head/with a palm caked hard by dirt” (l. 13-14). This shows that the father has been working and that is why his hands are dirty and at the same time rough. This proves that the father is hard working but at the same time provides for his family. The problem is that the father has no time for his son for they only meet when the father is drunk. His wife who happens to be the narrator’s mother is not amused by the fact that her husband has time for their son when he is drunk. According to the narrator the listener might tend to think is like, look, here was my hard working dad who sometimes drank too much and got silly but he is responsible.
What the author is telling the reader is that there are drunken people who know what they are doing. This is shown through the life of the son who was initially not interested by dancing with his father. In the end, the son came to realize that his father was doing all that out6 of love. As the saying goes do not judge a book by its cover since this is what the mother of the boy was doing.