"The Drundard" by Frank O'Conner

Essay by ctryblueeyesCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 2004

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In the story, "The Drunkard" by Frank O'Conner, the son, Larry, takes on four different perspectives on drunkenness by different characters in the story. The different perspectives are shameful, pitiful, funny, and a blessing.

The son's father was shameful of his son's drunkenness. He worried about how the neighborhood would view him on having a son that was drunk. The father had a "shameful desire" (349) to get him home quickly. He shows his embarrassment when he tries to quite his son when he starts to sing and snapping at him to "whisht" (349). In his attempt to hurry him home he tried to pick his son up and carry him, but failed and dragged him instead. We get a sense that his father is ashamed of his drunkenness which is ironic since the father himself is a drunk.

The women at the bar found the son's drunkenness to be pitiful.

'"God help us!" moaned one looking pityingly at me. "Isn't it the likes of them would be fathers?" (348). They felt pity for the boy to have a father who let his son become drunk. That the father would actually bring his son to the bar in the first place and then enable him to become drunk was a pathetic father and the women felt sympathy for the boy.

However, the neighbors viewed his drunkenness as funny. They found his behavior comical and laughed at most everything he did, from singing to shouting. At one point the son felt as though the whole neighborhood was laughing at him. It was humorous to them that two somber men where walking a drunken young boy home.

The son's mother, on the other hand, thought that it was a blessing from God. It was a fact that she didn't...