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    The Bars and the Bridge Essay

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    In Ernest Buckler’s “The Bars and the Bridge”, the protagonist, stuck between adoration and fear of his father, endures the ignorance of the man whose affection he longs for more than anything. The father and son “exchanged almost the same awkward words every time”(4). Due to this, the father and son were such strangers that if the father commanded him “it would be more embarrassing than disciplinary”(2). The father and son never had any physical contact, which shows the differences between them.

    The first piece of evidence towards the conclusion that supports the narrator’s feeling that the major gaps in the father-son relationship have been bridged is when the father lifts the son and carries him to the garden. In the beginning of the story, the son preludes us with his childhood relationship and says, “In a neighbour’s house of a Sunday afternoon I might stand nearer to him than to anyone else; but I never got onto his lap like the other kids got onto their fathers laps”. The son tells us that his relationship with his father was so abnormal that even touching him was difficult task to accomplish.

    However, after a while, it’s not the son who initiates contact with the father, it’s the father who initiates contact with the son by carrying him, instead of making him walk to the garden. This shows how much the father really cared for the son and how long the son desired his father to do something like this, by letting his father carry him without protest. The second piece of evidence is when the accident which stirred up the father’s feelings for his son, which were covered by his cold and rigid attitude.

    The distances kept on increasing. The rigidity and stiffness’ of father’s personality was responded by son’s reserved behaviour. But after the accident when the father sees his son in vulnerable condition, the warmth and love expressed by him by holding his son, broke the silence between the two. “There was a sudden compact between them” since the stiffness that defined the relationship he had always had with his father had disappeared the minute that the replica of that horse’s shoe had been stamped to his right eye.

    Towards the end of the story, the narrator notes, “Neither of [them] seemed to be the first to make the motion, but half way there [he] found that [he] was holding hands”(6), showing them to be not aware of their closeness. The holding of hands is the sign narrator uses as evidence of bridging the gap between the two. As a result, the day that it all changes, the kid is forever marked; but not only is the mark emotional and mental, but physical as well. The narrator even admits it himself, as he begins his story with the mention of how, upon following his father’s orders, he received “Two scars [that] …

    bracketed [his] right eye. ” Immediately after, he summarizes the change “in the punctuation of [his] life” that occurred that night. The son met an accident which helped bridging their gaps between the father and son. The accident stirred up the father’s feelings for his son, which were covered by his cold and rigid attitude. The distances kept on increasing. The rigidity and stiffness’ of father’s personality was responded by son’s reserved behaviour. But after the accident when the father sees his son in vulnerable condition, the warmth and love expressed by him by holding his son, broke the silence between the two.

    “There was a sudden compact between them” since the stiffness that defined the relationship he had always had with his father had disappeared the minute that the replica of that horse’s shoe had been stamped to his right eye. Towards the end of the story, the narrator notes, “Neither of [them] seemed to be the first to make the motion, but half way there [he] found that [he] was holding hands”(6), showing them to be not aware of their closeness. The holding of hands is the sign narrator uses as evidence of bridging the gap between the two.

    The first piece of evidence towards the conclusion that supports the narrator’s feeling that the major gaps in the father-son relationship have been bridged is when the gather lifts the son and carries him to the garden. In the beginning of the story, the son preludes us with his childhood relationship and says, “In a neighbour’s house of a Sunday afternoon I might stand nearer to him than to anyone else; but I never got onto his lap like the other kids got onto their fathers laps”.

    The son tells us that his relationship with his father was so abnormal that even touching him was difficult task to accomplish. However, after a while, it’s not the son who initiates contact with the father, it’s the father who initiates contact with the son by carrying him, instead of making him walk to the garden. This shows how much the father really cared for the son and how long the son desired his father to do something like this, by letting his father carry him without protest.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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