Review of Grace Paley's A Conversation With my Father Essay

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Review of Grace Paley's A Conversation With my Father Works Cited Missing Grace Paley's short story "A conversation with my Father," is a story of a patriarch relationship between a father and his daughter. The father in this story has made a last request for his daughter to "write a simple story just once more" (26) before he passes away. The father's idea of a simple story is in the same format as those stories written …show more content…
Paley uses words that symbolize a patriarch when she introduces the father to the reader. Within the first paragraph Paley uses words like "motor" (26) and "brainy light" (26). A motor is a device that controls something. The word motor is used to describe the father's heart which in turn can lead the reader to believe the father is controlling. Brainy can be thought of as someone who is smarter than someone else; someone who is at the top of the class. Light is interpreted as a positive word when one compares it to the word dark. The words brainy light are describing the father's heart flooding "his head with brainy light" (26). This can be interpreted as the father being at the top of the family.

"I would like you to write a simple story just once more…the kind Maupassant wrote, or Chekhov, the kind you used to write" (26). The father has just made a last request for his daughter to write like a man. The daughter can not remember ever writing the way her father would like her to write. The father has a certain power over his daughter which drives her to fulfill his one last request. He does not accept the story she presents him with because it is not the way the male writers would write. He says to her, "you left everything out. Turgenev wouldn't do that. Chekhov wouldn't do that"

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