I really enjoyed Andre Dubus’ “Digging” this week! It was interesting to see his understanding and appreciation of his father change over time. What I found so interesting in particular was that Andre got a better understood of both his father and himself in about a days time span, between his first and second days of work. The first day, Andre cannot handle the grueling work of digging out a foundation and becomes sick. His father, upon hearing this, shows up and takes him out to buy him a sandwich, soda and hat/helmet. Andre feels refreshed when he returns to work and finds the strength to get through it. He says that the “work was too hard, but after the first morning [he] could bear it.” I imagined that it was his father that got him through the first day, that this tender moment with his father was what he was missing/needed. This connection with his father was what gave him the strength and courage that he had lacked for so long. He learns to appreciate his father’s efforts in helping him “become the man” that he often admired in others.
This essay reminded me slightly of Jame’s Baldwin’s essay that we read a couple of weeks ago. He too had a single turning point that changed his perception and understanding of his father. For Baldwin, it was the diner scene where he blows up and realizes that he possesses the same hatred that his father had and that it was time to let that go.
It’s interesting how for some of us, we can identify one point where we see our parents in a different light and begin to realize their true intentions in our upbringing. I know I can, and will most likely be writing about that this week.