If my brother read “Digging” by Andre Dubus, I am sure he would be able to relate to him. My father was stricter towards my brother than me. I think it was because he wanted my brother to have a strong personality and be a “man”.
I feel that my brother and Dubus had similar experiences. Just like Dubus’s father took him for professional wrestling matches, my dad did the same for my brother. In fact, he made sure my brother went for Karate classes so he knew how to fight and defend himself. “In summer he took me fishing with his friends; we walked in woods to creeks and bayous and fished with bamboo poles”(74). My dad enjoyed fishing and he always asked my brother and I to go with him. My brother went with him several times and enjoyed the sport.
There were times when my brother would be upset or sad about something but he never approached dad as he did not want to look weak or unmanly in front of him. He did not want to disappoint our father- just like Dubus “If I had spoken I may have wept. When I was a boy I could not tell a man what I felt, if I believed what I felt was unmanly”(77).
Otherwise, while reading the essay I could feel Dubus appreciation towards his father for raising him up. I could see that he loved his father and hated disappointing him- “He never yelled for long, only a few sentences, but they emptied me, as if his voice had pulled my soul away from my body”(73) and “The fear of it was part of my love for him”(73).
Dubus also understood that whatever his father did for him was for his own good. Like, when his father wanted him to get a job when he was only sixteen years old so he could value hard work and money. On his first day at work, when Dubus fell sick and threw up and saw his father at his work place, he thought he was going home, instead his father took him to buy a hat. This shows that his father didn’t want Dubus to give up and instead value hard work. Dubus understood that and he worked hard to earn the respect. If this similar situation happened with another sixteen year old, there’s a high possibility that the child would be mad at his father for not understanding him and forcing him to do something which he didn’t want to do.
I enjoyed reading the essay as I could sense Dubus appreciation towards his father. I also understood the pressure Dubus faced to be a well rounded person as my brother faces similar pressure for my father as well. However, I know that brother understands our fathers intentions and whatever he does and says is for my brother.