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Essay on Review of Grace Paley's A Conversation With my Father

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Review of Grace Paley's A Conversation With my Father Works Cited Missing Grace Paley's short story "A conversation with my Father," is a story
of a patriarch relationship between a father and his daughter. The
father in this story has made a last request for his daughter to
"write a simple story just once more" (26) before he passes away. The
father's idea of a simple story is in the same format as those stories
written by well known male authors. Paley uses symbolism and character
to emphasize the patriarch relationship. The father has a patriarchic
ideology by telling his daughter how to write, and by always getting
the last word in during arguments between the father and the daughter.

The father's character in the story mirrors a patriarch. A patriarch
is an "old man who is venerated by a group and whose opinions have
great influence or authority" (Merit Students Dictionary 738). The
reader is introduced to the father at the beginning of the story as a
very old man. He is "eighty-six years old and in bed. His heart, that
bloody motor, is equally old and will not do certain jobs anymore"
(26). One can see that the father holds authority over others by the
fact that the daughter has promised her entire family she will always
give him the last word in an argument. This shows the father has the
power to have this privilege without asking for it. One can also se...


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different instances. The first time she lets him have the last word is
after he has complained about her second story. They end their
argument for a moment and she writes an ending she thinks he may like
although he has not asked her to write the story again. The second
instance is when Paley's story ends. The father is still upset with
his daughter's writing and does not like her new ending, but nothing
is said after he asks her "When will you look it in the face?" (30).
Having the advantage of always getting in the last word assists the
father in gaining more control over the family.

The father in this story mimics a patriarch because the father
patronizes the daughters writing and tells her how to write. The
father mirrors patriarchic qualities by making demands for his
daughter to write the story over again.


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