On “Digging”

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.

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4 Responses to On “Digging”

  1. cjchumas says:

    Nice blog. I was glad to see that you had the same understanding of Dubus’ essay as I did. You too noticed that the significance of it was to show how he gained a better understanding, and ultimately a new appreciation for his father in helping him grow up. I thought this essay was very relatable for me, and probably for other people. Maybe not so much that they came to some kind of realization through forced labor, but through other kinds of experiences.

  2. aliciab23 says:

    I really liked your comparison between Dubus’ essay and Baldwin’s in that they both had a moment of realization of how their fathers had shaped them. I think you’re right in picking up on the fact that Andre was craving for that admiration from his father and that his father was able to validate that in such a simple gesture. Andre wanted to be the kind of man that people (especially his father), would admire and his father taught him the important lesson of hard work, which fostered his manhood. And your last point is very true! We can all point out a moment where we see our parents in a “new light.” My essay is very similar to that turning point that you mentioned. Good post!

  3. adharahaque says:

    I really like your thoughts on the connection between the author and his father. I agree because as I was reading it, I could sense the relationship between them. His father did indeed help him get through a lot. I also think the characters were developed well in this essay. We get insight into how the author is and feels throughout the writing. I also loved how you compared it to Baldwin’s piece. In both writings, you can tell how the character grew as a person. Very insightful blog post!

  4. larissarios2013 says:

    Good post! I liked this essay a lot. As I explained in my blog, the relationship between the boy and his father reminds me of the relationship between my brother and father. I kept reading and comparing this reading to their relationship. This reading was my favorite this week. I love how you can sense the relationship between the boy and his father grow as the story went on! Nice job!

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