Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Silver Dish

Woody Selbst's father has died and he's trying to mourn.  His pop being a crook of a man with a wife and a mistress, was always looking out for himself and his gambling.  Woody remembers a story that took place during the depression after his father had left him and his mother and sisters.  Pop had told Woody a lie to take him to the widow that paid for Woody's tuition at the seminary.  While there Pop convinced the widow that he needed money to keep his business afloat, when the widow left to pray over her decision Pop stole a pure silver dish.  Woody and Pop got in a physical fight and Woody made Pop promise to put the dish back, and he did promise.  After they left and went to the bank, Woody found that Pop had not put the dish back.  Upon finding the dish missing the widow and her servant confronted him with the head of the seminary as well.  Woody swore that he had nothing to do with it and they would feel bad when they found the dish which they had simply misplaced.  He was expelled from school and his father didn't care.  By end Woody is remembering the hospital and how his Pop passed away.  Woody had climbed into the bed with him and held him because Pop was trying to pull out the IV cords that were in turn keeping him alive.  Again there was a struggle that made Woody remember the fight back at the widow's mansion, but this one was very weak and it wasn't really a struggle at all.  Yet Pop still found a way to die by his body heat dropping until he died as his son held him.

There was also a lot of talk of religion but the type of religion and who is which and what just confused me.  I understand that Pop was seen as a crook by his wife and sister?(she was the aunt but I don't know if it was Woody's aunt or Pop's).

They also made a statement of how Woody was considered a crook because he still spoke to his father.  Yet he took care of his Pop, mom, two sisters and his Pop's mistress.  He would foot the bill if they needed help and he sent them all on vacations.  He would dedicate days and a lot of time to make sure everything was taken care of.  When his Pop died Woody personally dressed him, and shoveled the dirt on top of the coffin. Feeling this is the last duty a son could do for his father.

I know that there is something significant with the meaning behind all of the talk of religion and converting and who is what and why but I just don't seem to quite grasp it.  I find it very sad that Woody was kicked out of seminary because of his father.  His father kept telling Woody that he felt bad for the girls because he couldn't teach them what life was about.  Woody's sisters remained single and lived with their mother and very christian.  Maybe Pop meant that hiding behind religion meant that you wouldn't ever do anything with your life but sit around forever.  Pop, although a crook, has done so many things in his life, he lived on the edge.  He put the trench coat down in the airport and was prepared to tell them that nothing in there was his, he put marijuana in the family turkey on Thanksgiving and again no one caught him.  That's when the downhill began in his health, when he was no longer getting a thrill.  I still want to know what Pop meant when he was saying they'll never get to live.

1 comment:

  1. Devil's Advocate: Pop was a good guy that actually did more good than bad. When Pop left his family he put them on welfare during the depression. That means they good food. When Pop steals the dish he gets Woody kicked out of school, where Woody was only doing mediocre and didn't believe in anything that he was studying. Pop thinks that this isn't where his son belongs and he'll be happier doing something else. So did Pop actually do these things for the greater good?

    There are all these people in the story who are in Woody's life but he doesn't actually have a relationship with any of them except his father.