The Bars and the Bridge



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From the beginning of the story till the end, the reader does see an obvious change in the father and sons relationship. In Ernest Buckler’s “The Bars and the Bridge”, the protagonist is stuck between adoring and fearing 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”(Buckler4). 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. Towards the conclusion the evidence provided to support the narrator’s feelings that the major gap between father and son has 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”.

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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 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 Bars and the Bridge Q. What evidence towards the conclusion supports the narrator’s feeling that the major gaps in the father-son relationship have been bridged?

From the beginning of the story till the end, the reader does see an obvious change in the father and sons relationship. In Ernest Buckler’s “The Bars and the Bridge”, the protagonist is stuck between adoring and fearing 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”(Buckler4). 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. Towards the conclusion the evidence provided to support the narrator’s feelings that the major gap between father and son has 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 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 Bars and the Bridge Q. What evidence towards the conclusion supports the narrator’s feeling that the major gaps in the father-son relationship have been bridged? From the beginning of the story till the end, the reader does see an obvious change in the father and sons relationship.

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