Drowsy, clumsy, unable to fix a bicycle tire, balance a grocery sack, or walk across a room, he was stripped of his true self by drink. When Father was drinking, the house, too, became a minefield.
If he squandered money on drink, I would pinch every penny. He would hide the bottle or can in his jacket and acted normal.
And yet, in spite of my age, I reacted in the same blind way as I had in childhood, by vainly seeking to erase through my efforts whatever drove him to drink.
We tugged open a drawer in his workbench, looking for screwdrivers or crescent wrenches, and spied a gleaming six-pack among the tools.
Scott Russell Sanders teaches literature at Indiana University. If he wanted to kill himself, the doctors solemnly warned him, all he had to do was hit the bottle again. Every day without the furtive glint of bottles, every meal without a fight, every bedtime without sobs encouraged us to believe that such bliss might go on forever.
The scariest and most illuminating Bible story apropos of drunkards was the one about the lunatic and the swine. But then so did a lot of men.
He became a stranger, as fearful to us as any graveyard lunatic, not quite frothing at the mouth but fierce enough, quick-tempered, explosive; or else he grew maudlin and weepy, which frightened us nearly as much.
To the truck stop, that den of iniquity? I watch the amber liquid pour down his throat, the alcohol steal into his blood, the key turn in his brain. After his tearful departures and chapfallen returns, he would sometimes go weeks, even months, without drinking.
It is all great fun. She would soon coax or scold him into breaking the nasty habit. It did not matter that I, too, was only a child, and a bewildered one at that. Research is often used to inform the topic of the personal essay.
I also hated the Gallo brothers, Ernest and Julio, whose jovial faces beamed from the labels of their wine, labels I would find, torn and curled, when I burned the trash. Watching him flounder and rage, I came to dread the loss of control.
Shaking her head, our mother stubs out a cigarette he has left smoldering in the ashtray. He and Mother were leaving Ontario, the last of the many places to which his job had carried them, and they were moving to a new house in Mississippi, his childhood stomping ground.
Jenkins, who beat his wife and kids so hard we could hear their screams from the road. Often, when he had parked the car at a careless angle, we gazed in through the window and saw Mr. Dutiful and panicky, we cried, "Let us go with you!
Father must have believed them, for he stayed dry the next fifteen years. Then during the fall of my senior year--the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when it seemed that the nightly explosions at the munitions dump and the nightly rages in our household might spread to engulf the globe--Father collapsed.
If he was a sinner, who would save him? Sondra Perl and Mimi Schwartz. Sanders but his brother, sister, as well as his mother. He drank because he chose to, pure and simple. We saw the bruised children of these fathers clump onto our school bus, we saw the abandoned children huddle in the pews at church, we saw the stunned and battered mothers begging for help at our doors.
Like many men, he gave up his identity along with his job. I took my own first drink at the age of twenty-one, half a glass of burgundy. Again he shouted and wept. While growing up on the back roads and in the country schools and cramped Methodist churches of Ohio and Tennessee, I never heard the word alcoholic, never happened across it in books or magazines.
We had grounds for such hope. I failed of perfection; he succeeded in dying. It is through his present perspective that Sanders can look upon his youth and both understand what he was going through at the time, making sense of the chaos of his youth, and understanding how it effects him even now, causing him to become a workaholic, carrying with him a secret fear that someday the slightest drop of alcohol may cause him to sacrifice himself to the demon of alcoholism from which his father could never escape.
When Father drove anywhere on errands, Mother would send us along as guards, warning us not to let him out of our sight.Under the Influence By: Scott Russell Sanders Pathos Children were used Sympathy for the family dealing with the shame of an alcoholic father no one knew about Lack of empathy towards the father Double life Ethos Summary: Purpose The purpose of this essay was to demonstrate overcoming adversity and telling a story about something.
A Review of Scott Russell Sanders "Under the Influence" A Review of Scott Russell Sanders "Under the Influence" May 5, By reading "Under the Influence", you can analyze by using the.
Jun 17, · UNDER THE INFLUENCE Paying the price of my father's booze By Scott Russell Sanders Source: HARPER'S, Nov.pp.
My father drank. He drank as a gut-punched boxer gasps for breath, as a starving dog gobbles food--compulsively, secretly, in pain and trembling. Analysis of “Under the Influence” by Scott Russell Sanders Scott Russell Sanders’ narrative essay “Under the Influence” is a piece about his experiences with his alcoholic father.
To describe these experiences, Sanders uses animalistic diction, asyndeton, and explains how his father’s disease creates insecurities in himself.
A Literary Analysis of Under the Influence by Scott Russell Sanders as it applies to the criteria of the Personal Essay. The personal essay is a sub-genre of the literary genre of creative nonfiction. In the essay "Under the Influence," Scott Russell Sanders uses metaphors and comparisons to describe his father's drinking, and the connection of his excessive working and compares those two addictions.Download