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The Morals of Fathers

Essay By: History guy
Literary fiction


In Junot Diaz’s short story “Fiesta, 1980” and William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” both fathers in each story are alike in the discipline of their children and their financial standings but, their ideals towards relationships differ greatly. Papi, the father in “Fiesta, 1980” is a adulteress womanizer, who at times is also temperamental and aggressive towards the punishment of his children. Similarly, Mrs. Emily, who is the protagonist in “A Rose for Emily” has been raised by a single father who is over protective and a strict disciplinarian. However similar both fathers may be, it is easy to see the influences that they have in the lives of their children.


Submitted:Aug 4, 2012    Reads: 213    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


In Junot Diaz's short story "Fiesta, 1980" and William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" both fathers in each story are alike in the discipline of their children and their financial standings but, their ideals towards relationships differ greatly. Papi, the father in "Fiesta, 1980" is a adulteress womanizer, who at times is also temperamental and aggressive towards the punishment of his children. Similarly, Mrs. Emily, who is the protagonist in "A Rose for Emily" has been raised by a single father who is over protective and a strict disciplinarian. However similar both fathers may be, it is easy to see the influences that they have in the lives of their children.

Although the time periods of both stories differ greatly, the two fathers are alike in the punishment of their children. In "Fiesta, 1980", Papi is a very strict and old fashioned father when punishing his children, "he expected you to attend him, but not stare into his eyes" (Diaz 172). Miss Emily's father, in comparison is over protective of his daughter, and is ready to punish, not just her, but anyone that threatens him or his daughter. There is evidence of this in a painting that hangs in the Grierson household, the painting shows Mrs. Emily's father standing in the foreground with "his back to her" with him "clutching a horsewhip" (Faulkner 93).

Probably the most significant thing that Miss Emily's father and Papi both have in common is that they are either poor or almost broke. Papi has that personality type were he likes to try and impress other people with his money. He has bought a new lime green VW van, although they could not afford a van, "used or new" (Diaz 173). And in comparison, when Miss Emily's father dies the only thing left in her name is "the house" (Faulkner 93). Miss Emily is left broke and a pauper.

It is easy to see the contrast of personalities in the fathers by how much differently the children act while around the opposite sex in both stories. Papi is married to a sweet and loving wife, but he is also having an affair with a Puerto Rican woman. And on occasion Papi has taken the children to her house for dinner were they "acted like nothing was out of the ordinary" (Diaz 178). And once the children had gotten use to the affair they had all but forgotten it was happening. And because of the bad example set by Papi, later in the story the children are in Tia's room and "getting busy", meaning, that they are all making out with each other (Diaz 178). Unlike Miss Emily who was raised in a very strict household were her father had thought that "None of the young men were quite good enough" for her (Faulkner 93). And because of this when she had reached the age of "thirty and was still single" no one in the town was surprised (Faulkner 93).

Although the two stories differ greatly in the time periods that they are set in, the two fathers are still alike in the discipline of their children. Probably the most significant factor that both fathers have in common is they are either poor or, almost broke in both stories. And it is easy to see the contrast between the two father and their personalities by how the children were treated around members of the opposite sex. However similar both fathers may be, it is easy to see the influences that they have in the lives of their children.

Work Cited

Faulkner, William "A Rose for Emily" The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2011. 91-97. Print.

Diaz, Junot "Fiesta, 1980" The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2011. 171-180. Print.





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