The old man, is not given a name nor a proper physical description by the writer perhaps to rouse the reader's emotions by letting him think of the grandfather as a universal figure. This may be an important factor in the short story as older generations can relate to the feelings of the grandfather and younger generations to the feelings of the granddaughter.
Though he is old, the grandfather is very active in that he keeps birds and trains homing pigeons.
In the beginning of the story, when the old man is attending to 'his favourite, a homing pigeon', his feelings are very serene and content. But once the granddaughter enters, his feelings make a drastic change. He at once becomes irritated and cantankerous towards her. He seems jealous in that she is waiting for her boyfriend. He is very protective and possessive towards her; he tells her that she is not 'old enough to go courting'.
The grandfather thinks of his granddaughter's, Alice's, boyfriend as a 'violent bodied youth' perhaps thinking that he is not good enough for her. Immediately after, he starts acting childish by threatening to tell on her, 'I'll tell your mother!'
The next paragraph is very important as it tells the reader of the old man's true feelings. His fear of loneliness and being unloved, 'He would be left; uncherished and aloneÃ¢ÂÂ¦'
The grandfather gives into his feelings quite easily for as he starts feeling lonesome and does not get the proper attention from Alice; he is 'stung' into 'love and repentance'. He thinks if she goes away, then she would forget him.
As soon as the grandfather sees Alice embracing Steven, her boyfriend, instantly his mood swings back to being spiteful and petulant. Again he becomes childlike as he goes to...