The story “Uncle Rock” by Dagobert Gilb follows a young boy named Eric who has a beautiful single mother that is in search of a man with a lot of money, who can provide for her and her son Eric. Eric is a cautious and uninviting son who dislikes the attention his mother gains from interested suitors. After watching his mother in countless disastrous relationships, Eric is finally content and adjusting to the fact that his mom may have finally found the one. The story begins with Eric watching his mother continuously search for Mr.
Wrong in disapproval. Men would often try to begin conversations with his mother by asking silly questions about Eric like “How old is he eight or nine? Eric wasn’t even small for his for an eleven-year-old” (Gilb 1). Eric knew all these men were wrong for his mother and it bothered him that they were using him as the ice breaker. Eric hoped that his mother would see past their charades so Eric “tightened his jaw then, slanted his eyes up from the plate at his mom not the man” hoping she would not encourage the conversation.
Eric noticed that the only men his mother would go with were wealthy men as he states, “She almost always gave the man her number of he was wearing a suit. Not a sports coat but a buttoned suit with a starched white shirt and a pinned tie meant something to her” (Gilb 1). Unwilling to get to know his mother’s dates, Eric “never said anything when the men were around, and not because of his English, even if that was the excuse his mother gave them for his silence”(Gilb 2).
Eric considered the men who would approach his mother to be a nuisance. The author states, “He’d be sitting with his mother not bothering anybody and a man started changing it all. ” This statement leads me to believe that Eric was absolutely content in having the company of only his mother. Eric’s character is so cautious and isolated he barely speaks to his own mother. It isn’t until he is alone and praying that his true feelings are revealed.
Eric “thanked God for his mom, who he loved, and he apologized to Him for not talking to her, or to anyone, really, except his friend Albert, and he apologized for her never going to church and for his never taking Holy Communion, as Albert did though only to God would he admit that he wanted to because Albert did” (Gilb 3). Eric longed for the life his friend Albert had. Because Eric was envious of the relationship Albert had with his family, Eric lied to Albert and said “his new dad was an engineer” (Gilb 5). Eric wanted Albert and his family to believe that they were a complete happy family as well.
Erick wanted a father so badly that he began to believe himself and “thought that he might even get his own horse” (Gilb 3). He imagined that they would have lived happily ever after not worrying about finances and being able to buy horses. Albert soon discovered that Eric was lying so Eric stopped talking to him. Once again, Eric was alone. Eric’s mom loses her job and needs a shoulder to cry on so she calls her friend Roque. Roque was the man she would call on when all else failed. Roque was not the type Eric’s mom usually dated.
Eric describes Roque as, “always too willing and nice, too considerate, too generous. He wore nothing flashy or expensive, just ordinary clothes that were clean and ironed, and shoes he kept shined” (Gilb 3). Eric’s mom soon begins to question her standards in men and then asks Eric how he would if she married Roque. In attempt to bring them closer Eric’s mom suggests they attend a baseball game together, since she knew that was Eric’s passion. While at the game Eric catches a homerun ball and even gets it signed by the entire team. One of the players then gives Eric a letter inviting his mom out on a date.
Eric was mentally debating what to do with the letter when he noticed that, “Roque was the proudest man, full of joy because he was with her. It wasn’t his fault he wasn’t an engineer” (Gilb 5). Eric realized at that moment that Roque was genuine and loved his mom unconditionally. Even though Roque had less income than an engineer, he felt like the richest man in the world when with her. The author reveals Eric’s decision when he writes, “by the time he reached his mom and Roque, the note was already somewhere on the asphalt parking lot. Look, he said in a full voice.
They all signed the ball. ” This would be the first occasion Eric speaks throughout the whole story. This symbolizes that Eric was finally content and didn’t want any other men to come around his mother anymore. He was happy with her decision. Eric was cautious and uninviting of his mother’s numerous relationships. He often prayed that God would send them the answer to their prayers. What they both didn’t realize is that Mr. Right had been around all along. Although Roque didn’t have the income she was looking for, his love and attention was worth so much more.