"In the Groove" by Audrey Thomas

Essay by rosloy1223C-, October 2006

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Have a talk in the family

In the story "In the Groove", written by Audrey Thomas, the author uses Josh and Charlie's conflict in their relationship and contrast their characters to illustrate the idea that the lack of communication between the father and son is the major obstacle for them to confront. In the story, the author tells about the facts that Josh's discontentment about his father, Charlie has a kind of power over Josh. s, and also Charlie's self without caring others' feeling.

As story unfolds, Josh is critical of his father, it hints "he hadn't meant to sound so disgusted but Josh didn't like it when his dad smoked up. He got his real soft smoky voice and always wanted to talk about life (2). Although Josh is the son of Charlie, he doesn't like his father smoking when he is there, it makes him feel antipathy.

Josh also shows his anger "You mention it to them before you say one word to me!" and "To me." (came out in a wild, angry squeak. He threw another stone on the fire, a bigger one this time) (10). As a result, Josh is angry with his father because he tells others the news at the first time.

Sometimes Josh is following his father's behavior, it shows "Dad, could you teach me how to wave- so people wave back at day." But Charlie doesn't really understand his son's feelings, since he cannot get Josh's desire, which he just wants to be a famous person as well as Charlie. Since Charlie was a research chemist and he also taught at the university, he is interested in the brain. In fact ,he is self , and he just care about his own feelings, , he wants to copy his brain on his son's , such as Grandma Sorensen, but Josh finds it, it tells that " Even when you told her your name , and my name , she didn't recognize us . How do you explain that?"

The story claims that Charlie also has a kind of power Josh .When Josh insists on telling his father that his mother doesn't really like him, which cause Charlie feel angry, it shows "'I know that too.' His father was quite red. Josh hadn't realized until this moment, watching his father's face, just how much power he had over this man."(90) Josh also feels an unknown power over his father; he learns it and begins to play at the words from his father. It hints "a little big." (It was wonderful, this new power he had. He decided to change the subject) (92). Josh also feels desperation "Here," (he said, tossing two quarters on the table), "play Anne Murray. I like to listen to her C-3." "I don't ..." (Josh looked at his father in desperation) (107). But at the same time, he feels his father's strong power over him.

In the story, the author expresses that Charlie is self and he doesn't care others' feeling. This is evident when josh thinks, "He wished his father didn't talk quite so loud. He could hear him even after he went through the swimming doors by the kitchen to find washrooms" (120).Charlie talks so loudly and just wants to let others know Josh is his son. Josh doesn't like this way. Furthermore, Josh doesn't like to be known as Charlie's son. He still doesn't like the man who wants to sit with them, but his father asks him to keep here and continue their conversation. It makes Josh feel even worse than the last night. It illustrates "Josh didn't like this guy standing there by his shoulder while he tried to eat his breakfast" (104), and "Josh was afraid he was going to be sick. The man's hands were bitten away down past the white part of the nail. Gross" (129). Therefore, Josh thinks Charlie so selfish because he doesn't listen to other's words. Even though Josh feels uncomfortable about the grey-hair man, he still keeps him here and allows his son to get out of restaurant. It causes Josh make his final decision, it shows he doesn't forbear "he almost pushed the man onto the floor in his eagerness to escape "(143), and "You know what Mom says?" (He shouts) "She says you never listen to anybody. She says you've got elephantitis of ego! That's what Mom says" (134).

Throughout the story "In the Groove", the author uses Josh and Charlie's conflict in their relationship and contrast their characters to illustrate the idea that the lack of communication between the father and son is the major obstacle for them to confront. In our real life, there is a very delicate relationship between parents and children. Children need more care and love, but sometimes it is so hard for them to say. Communication is a good way to solve the problems in the family.