A man is shaped by the people in his environment. In The Father by Hugh Garner, John Purcell, the father, is not dysfunctional, the whole family is. He attempts to fit in but he is stopped, not only by his son, but by also the rest of his dysfunctional family.
John attempts to be integrate into his family, but on several occasions is obstructed by his son. John attempts to start conversations with Johnny, but is ignored and soon stops these futile attempts. In addition, when he tries to watch his son play, his son bluntly ignores him. As well, John enthusiastically greets his son on the street only to have a wave in return. John even goes to a Boy Scout dinner in hopes of repairing the damage in the relationship between him and his son; nevertheless, his son continues to embarrass him. As you can see, the father is actually trying to become a handy member of his family, however, his family is actually hindering him from accomplishing his goal.
The main person responsible for blocking John from becoming purposeful is his own son Johnny. Johnny doesn’t talk with his dad, therefore, making him feel isolated from his son since he knows nothing about him. Whenever Johnny’s dad tries to become functional with Johnny, Johnny makes his dad feel stupid for trying. Some more specific examples of this is when dad saw Johnny on the street, Johnny barely managed a wave. Also, when his dad went to see his son play games in the schoolyard, Johnny bluntly ignored his dad. Johnny is the main reason that John is not succeeding in becoming useful. However, the other members of the family also help Johnny in his evil deeds.
Johnny is accountable for most of the blockage against his father; however, he also receives help from his family. To maintain as little as communication between Johnny and his father, Johnny gets his mom to talk the father for him. Johnny told his mother to give the dad the invitation to the Boy Scout dinner. Furthermore, the family reprimands John by telling him to be nice to Johnny, making it seem as if the distance between him and his son is his entire fault. As you can see, the whole family participates to forbid John Purcell from becoming a functional member of the family.
As you have just read, a man is shaped by the people in his environment. It is not John Purcell’s fault that he is dysfunctional; it is the family’s fault that he is dysfunctional. John is trying to become a functional member, however, his dysfunctional family refuses to cooperate with him. With this evidence, you would come to the conclusion that it is not that John Purcell is dysfunctional; it’s the whole family that is dysfunctional.