Unformatted text preview: The young child seems to describe his father’s actions in playful and loving terms as the pair “waltzed” and “romped” throughout the house. However, despite the innocent and naive words of the adoring child, there are blatant hints of violence lurking under the surface. The child “hung on like death” as they danced in the kitchen until the pans themselves were knocked off the shelf as the mother looked on with a “countenance [that] could not unfrown itself.” The father clutches the child’s wrist with a “battered knuckle” and “beats time” his head before carrying the clinging child off to bed. Is this really the case of a happily intoxicated father playing childishly with his son, or of domestic violence by a father who is overworked which is not fully comprehended by the child?...
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- Spring '08
- Theodore Roethke, Papa’s Waltz, happily intoxicated father