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paulusmc1
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Re: Fathers and Sons

Mike has had very little contact with his father over the years. What are his feelings for him? Why does he have the urge to protect him now? Are you convinced by Mike's arguments of his father's innocence in this situation?

 

--I think he feels the urge to protect him because, no matter what, he is still his father.  I think he has mixed feelings about his father.  I think it is part pity and part loyalty.  At this point, I am convinced of his father's innocence because of Mike's arguments of it.

 

Do you get a sense of Jack's feelings for Mike in these chapters? When Mike is in the hospital with pneumonia, he wakes to find his father crying. How did you interpret his father's tears?

 

--I think Jack is a terrible father.  Especially because he made him go with him when he was sick and because he exposed him to things that children do not need to see, like animals being harmed and tortured.  I think Jack's tears were regret, but I think the regret was short-lived and did not turn him into a better father.

 

Mike spends part of a summer with his father when he was a teenager. Can you describe that trip and the impression it made on Mike?

 

--I think the trip as a whole was a disappointment to Mike.  He was forced to do uninteresting work and didn't spend much time with his father at all.  And the little time they did spend together was not quality time, in my opinion.  I think Mike learned more of his father's true identity and found him not to be a "good" person.  His father was aquainted with bad people and just by exposing Mike to these people, he was not being a good father.

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deannafrances
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Re: Fathers and Sons

[ Edited ]

I have read very few books where i disliked all the characters as much as in this book.  It made it hard to read. 

 

EDITED FOR POSSIBLE SPOILER

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deannafrances
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Re: Fathers and Sons

I am sorry that I included details from the ending, that was not very considerate.

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librarysusie
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Re: Fathers and Sons

Mike has had very little contact with his father over the years. What are his feelings for him? Why does he have the urge to protect him now? Are you convinced by Mike's arguments of his father's innocence in this situation?

 

I think Mike has always felt the need to stick up for his dad with his mom with Charley.

I think the years they have had so little contact actually makes the "bond" stronger because with a separation like that you build up altered view of that person.he remembers glimpses like the hospital and hangs on to that andhopes his dad really does love him and care about him even though throughout his life he has shown very little of that.

 

Do you get a sense of Jack's feelings for Mike in these chapters? When Mike is in the hospital with pneumonia, he wakes to find his father crying. How did you interpret his father's tears?

 

I have to feel Jack truly cares about his son but doesn't know how to show it.

 

Mike spends part of a summer with his father when he was a teenager. Can you describe that trip and the impression it made on Mike?

 

That trip changed everything for Mike I think it really shot down the image in his mind he had of his dad.it scared him made him more self aware and set him on the path to becoming a game warden.

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SandyS
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 

ruthieWW wrote:

  

This trip was an eye-opener, a reality check. From the beginning of the book, we are introduced to the BEAR that Mike is trying to catch. To me this bear is like his father. They both are wild and exist to sustain themselves in the wild. When a problem occurs, Mike decides to set a trap...not to hurt the bear, but to save it from ITSELF. Mike does not want anyone to kill the bear, just as he defends his father. He know the Bear only kills out of instinct, survival....that is the same with his father. So Mike wants to find them and protect them.

 ruthieWW,

 

This is an interesting analogy between the Bear and Jack.  I think you are on to something.

 

SandyS

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saren
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 

I think Mike is seeking a connection with his father on some level.  He strives to be supportive and an advocate for his father, in the way he wishes his father were for him as a child.   Jack has remained rather aloof to Mike his entire life, even in the scenes where they are side by side checking traps or at Jack’s place that summer.  I think Mike believes (or wants to believe) Jacks outward behavior is just a cold exterior, perhaps a misguided soul with the odds against him, doing what he must to survive.  Yet beneath that there exists a man of some compassion and integrity, who would never stoop to such a level as committing cold blooded murder.  Whether Mike is proven right or wrong, only time will tell.

Beauty is whatever gives joy. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay
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kpatton
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 

Rachel-K wrote:

Mike has had very little contact with his father over the years. What are his feelings for him? Why does he have the urge to protect him now? Are you convinced by Mike's arguments of his father's innocence in this situation?  I am convinced of Jack's innocence.  Not sure why he is being framed or at least the primary suspect, but it doesn't seem in character that he would murder.  My brother left his family when the children were young and over the years has had little contact with them.  His oldest daughter continues to want to stay connected with him and be there for him even though he continues to dissapoint her after 30 some years.  I have never understood this connection but seeing it in this book, I know it is real.

 

 

 

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kpatton
Posts: 206
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 

dhaupt wrote:
 

Jack is an enigma to me, I can't figure him out and at this point have no desire to as he's a thorn in my side in this novel. When I want to feel something for him, he does something mean or stupid and I loose all respect for him again. Regarding Mike finding Jack crying at his bedside, maybe it was a result of a high fever and Mike imagined it, because I can't find any humanity that would show me that Jack would care.

 

Debbie,

I thought about responding to Rachel's question in my last post but didn't.  Your post got me thinking.  Not all people know how to parent but that doesn't mean he doesn't love and care about Mike.  I also wonder about post tramatic stress disorder.  That could certainly account for the inconsistencies in Jack's behavior.

Kathy

 

 

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 VermontCozy Wrote...Less contact with his father,less pain for Mike..He was very young,and didn't have a very secure childhood.His fathers outbursts,which considering he wasn't like that before Vietnam,were confusing for Mike..He never knew what kind of mood his father would be in.But he still loved him. He knows his father is innocent,and no one can convince him otherwise. The one person that knows him is Mike,because he see's a lot of himself in his dad,not to that extreme though.Guilt..his dad knew what he did was selfish,causing Mike to wind up in the hospital.That one summer spent with his dad,was the final turning point for Mike..That was what put the distance between them..He couldn't trust that his dad has the best intentions for him..He was a teenager,and needed his dad,but Jack couldn't parent him,he had no clue what to do,and was scarred of just about everything concerning Mike..His father just couldn't handle anything...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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rosia408
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Re: Fathers and Sons

Rachel-K wrote:

Mike has had very little contact with his father over the years. What are his feelings for him? Why does he have the urge to protect him now? Are you convinced by Mike's arguments of his father's innocence in this situation?

 

Do you get a sense of Jack's feelings for Mike in these chapters? When Mike is in the hospital with pneumonia, he wakes to find his father crying. How did you interpret his father's tears?

 

Mike spends part of a summer with his father when he was a teenager. Can you describe that trip and the impression it made on Mike?

 

Mike has spent his life seeking love and approval from a father who is not capable of showing it with any kind of consistancy. It is like trying to buy a lawnmower at a drug store...just can't be done. He has expectations of what a Dad is supposed to be and Jack just is never going to be that, and so Mike gets disappointed over and over again. That's exactly what happened when Mike went to visit his father when he was a teenager.

 

I found Jack to be self-centered and extremely unlikeable . The optimist in my wanted to find some kind of redeemable quality in him, for him to be worthy of Mike's loyalty and love. Of course Mike loved him. He was his dad.

 

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rosia408
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Re: Fathers and Sons

Hmmm, his father's tears when Mike had pneumonia were most likely guilt.

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jb70
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Re: Fathers and Sons

I think Jack's experience in the war broke something inside of him.  Instead of trying to work through any of those issues he runs away when anyone or anything gets too close, hence the escaping to the woods to hunt and poach when things get tough.  Mike wants to have his fathers approval and feels like he has never really had his love, but has Jack ever really given love to anyone?  I think when he was 9 his dad wanted to show him what he did to earn his respect, but he went about it wrong by not paying attention.  The tears seemed to me to be guilt but he seemed to lack the ability to say he was sorry which made it worse. 

 

i don't feel like Jack is guilty here (and I am a little behind where I am supposed to be so I can't comment on the summer he spent with his dad because I haven't finished it).  I don't think his day killed those two men, I suspect the man he works for at the camp and the paranoid military freak guy.  While I am sure Jack isn't thrilled about the land deal I think he would just disappear into the land and keep doing what he has been doing and not worry about the politics or the issues.

http://bookbookseverywhere.blogspot.com/
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kstempien
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Re: Fathers and Sons

I think Mike learned alot during the trip to see his father over the summer. He learned tat his father hadn't really changed, and was much the same man that his father left years ago. He learned a great lesson in ignorance, both from his father and Pelletier. Pelletier treated him as a servant, using him to do a great deal of labor, for no compensation, other than a place to stay. His father basically ignored his presence for a greater part of the trip. He knew he was there, but maintained minimal interaction with Mike.

 

It's true that Mike is the one who initiated the visit, but I think, through the course of his stay, he realized what a mistake it had been. He learned about poaching firsthand as his father killed the deer. I believe that whole trip was an experience had a great impact on Mike's desire of wanting to become a warden.

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floreader
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 

fordmg wrote:

I see Mike as always looking for acceptance from his father.  That happens with abused children.  They think they can change the person, but it hardley ever happens.  I am not surprised that Jack does not seek a relationship with his son.  He did not approve of Mike becoming a Warden, so he decided to stay out of his way.  Now he is calling because he thinks maybe Mike can help.  But Mike has problems with relationships as well.  Twice Jack calls, and they argue before Jack can get out what he wants Mike to do, and Jack hangs up.  Mike still thinks he should help his father, and doesn't know the correct avenue to do this. 

 

I wondered about Jack crying when Mike was in the hospital with pneumonia.  I think Jack did not takes Mike's cold seriously, so took him out in the cold.  He wanted Mike to understand how he did his trapping, and couldn't cope with a child's needs.  I think that was the final staw for Mike's mother and maybe why she finally left.   He might have been crying for her as well.  Even though taking Mike out trapping could be considered abuse, I don't think Jack intentionally wanted to hurt Mike. 

 

Mike's summer with Jack was a little upsetting for me.  Mike pushed it, Jack didn't want him there, but came anyway.  At the end of the chapter when Mike went home Jack only said "I'm not driving you" then "I never promised you anything."  Mike accepted that.  Jack just didn't have anything of himself to give to his son.  I think it was probably good that Mike made the trip.  He finally understood what his father was all about.  If he hadn't gone, he would have always wondered about his parents split. 

 

MG

 

Great post!  I agree that Jack couldn't deal with a child's needs.  In fact, he was too self-centered to cope with anyone else's needs, child or adult.

Although I also agree that it's not surprising that Jack doesn't seem a relationship with his son, I don't think it has that much to do with Mike becoming a Warden.  I think it has more to do with Jack's inability to be a good father in general and his self-centeredness.

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Fathers and Sons

floreader wrote:

 

fordmg wrote:

I see Mike as always looking for acceptance from his father.  That happens with abused children.  They think they can change the person, but it hardley ever happens.  I am not surprised that Jack does not seek a relationship with his son.  He did not approve of Mike becoming a Warden, so he decided to stay out of his way.  Now he is calling because he thinks maybe Mike can help.  But Mike has problems with relationships as well.  Twice Jack calls, and they argue before Jack can get out what he wants Mike to do, and Jack hangs up.  Mike still thinks he should help his father, and doesn't know the correct avenue to do this. 

 

I wondered about Jack crying when Mike was in the hospital with pneumonia.  I think Jack did not takes Mike's cold seriously, so took him out in the cold.  He wanted Mike to understand how he did his trapping, and couldn't cope with a child's needs.  I think that was the final staw for Mike's mother and maybe why she finally left.   He might have been crying for her as well.  Even though taking Mike out trapping could be considered abuse, I don't think Jack intentionally wanted to hurt Mike. 

 

Mike's summer with Jack was a little upsetting for me.  Mike pushed it, Jack didn't want him there, but came anyway.  At the end of the chapter when Mike went home Jack only said "I'm not driving you" then "I never promised you anything."  Mike accepted that.  Jack just didn't have anything of himself to give to his son.  I think it was probably good that Mike made the trip.  He finally understood what his father was all about.  If he hadn't gone, he would have always wondered about his parents split. 

 

MG

 

Great post!  I agree that Jack couldn't deal with a child's needs.  In fact, he was too self-centered to cope with anyone else's needs, child or adult.

Although I also agree that it's not surprising that Jack doesn't seem a relationship with his son, I don't think it has that much to do with Mike becoming a Warden.  I think it has more to do with Jack's inability to be a good father in general and his self-centeredness.

Vermontcozy wrote.Both great observations of a a book that has so much to say,and we are now involved with the characters Paul Doiron has created.Just finished it this morning,and still have some questions,really looking forward to reading more posts and discussions..Susan..

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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fordmg
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Re: Fathers and Sons

deannafrances wrote:

I have read very few books where i disliked all the characters as much as in this book.  It made it hard to read. 

 

EDITED FOR POSSIBLE SPOILER

 

Liking the characters in a story is not a requirement.  If every character was likable, there would be no conflict.  Without conflict, there is no reason to read the story.  What this book shows to me is a life style that is different from my own, and an understanding of how people deal with adversity.  Most of us don't do a very good job of that.  So, I don't think about 'liking' the characters as a goal in my reading.

MG

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dhaupt
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 

kpatton wrote:

 

dhaupt wrote:
 

Jack is an enigma to me, I can't figure him out and at this point have no desire to as he's a thorn in my side in this novel. When I want to feel something for him, he does something mean or stupid and I loose all respect for him again. Regarding Mike finding Jack crying at his bedside, maybe it was a result of a high fever and Mike imagined it, because I can't find any humanity that would show me that Jack would care.

 

Debbie,

I thought about responding to Rachel's question in my last post but didn't.  Your post got me thinking.  Not all people know how to parent but that doesn't mean he doesn't love and care about Mike.  I also wonder about post tramatic stress disorder.  That could certainly account for the inconsistencies in Jack's behavior.

Kathy

 

 

 

 

Hmm Kathy PTSD, I never considered it. Now I'll have to re-think that part. Thanks for the eye-opener.

 

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CharlieG31
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎01-06-2010

Re: Fathers and Sons



Mike has had very little contact with his father over the years. What are his feelings for him? Why does he have the urge to protect him now? Are you convinced by Mike's arguments of his father's innocence in this situation?

I am convinced by Mikes arguments concerning his father's innocence however from my point of view the urge to protect him now  are because Mike feels that now he is the one that should be there for his father even though his father may not have been there for him , Mike feels a kind of inner relation with his father and Mike feels he is the only there for him and he will not abandon hi as others did because no matter what he did in the past or was doing in the present, Mike knows that he is his father and that he must protect him and look for his well being no matter what .

Mike from time to time may feel angry with his father but now that Mike realizes maybe all his father had were problems and he was being judged very harshly then Mike tries to compensate this by trying to protect his father.


 

Do you get a sense of Jack's feelings for Mike in these chapters? When Mike is in the hospital with pneumonia, he wakes to find his father crying. How did you interpret his father's tears?

I think that his fathers tears were a proof that Mikes father did and still cares for him. When Mike sees his father crying this shows that Mikes father is trying to keep an image of being a tough one and a I dont care type , but when he sees his son lying in the hospital bed then this shows how scared he really is about what could happen to his sons life. I believe this marked Mike , becaue Mike saw a part of his father he had never seen , this sensible part that his father would never show  was shown while he was in the hospital bed. I believe this gives a stronger sense to Mikes sense of protection towards his father because now he feels that all this time his father did care about him in a different way but he did care about him.

 

Mike spends part of a summer with his father when he was a teenager. Can you describe that trip and the impression it made on Mike?

I believe that in this trip Mike realizes that going with his father will take him out of his comfortable life style and bring him into an independent life where he must find his own solutions , deal with his own problems and do whatever he can in order to survive. But it seems that Mike was a kind of protected kid and when he arrives with his father at first he is scared and tries to play a tough kid but deep inside he is scared of what may happen. When the trip ends Mike does not judge his father for what he had to go through in the trip but he does not show any appreciation either which is why even from his teenage years there seems to be a distance between his father and him.

"The questions are more essential than the answers."
Karl Theodor Jaspers

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CJINCA
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Re: Fathers and Sons

 

rosia408 wrote:

Hmmm, his father's tears when Mike had pneumonia were most likely guilt.

 

I agree -- guilt mixed in with regret and shame at not being a better parent.

 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Fathers and Sons

When Jack cries at Mike's bedside, I think it is about more than guilt. I think he realizes what a mess he has made of things and understands he is a failure. Since he is probably sobered up, things may even look darker to him than when he was drunk.

Whatever his show of remorse, it has no lasting effect. When Mike tries to spend the summer wiith his dad, it is pretty disastrous. He is overworked by Pelletier, he witnesses his dad's reckless behavior and he cuts his visit short. He is surprised by his dad's disregard for the  rules and his violent treatment of the deer. Before this, he believed his dad only killed for food, not for sport or to flaunt the law.

 

Rachel-K wrote:

 

Do you get a sense of Jack's feelings for Mike in these chapters? When Mike is in the hospital with pneumonia, he wakes to find his father crying. How did you interpret his father's tears?

 

Mike spends part of a summer with his father when he was a teenager. Can you describe that trip and the impression it made on Mike?