"Arm Wrestling with my Father" by Brad Manning

Book Report/Review
Pages 4 (1004 words)
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The poignant, tough-love dictum of Brad Manning's best-known work belies a glaring social issue that is a prevalent yet continuously undermined facet of everyday family life. A lot of times there are numerous cases where we see doting fathers being hopelessly ignored by their reticent children.


Manning uses rhetoric in such a way that he repeatedly uses metaphors to address his relationship with his father, most of which are centered around arm wrestling. He calls his father "the arm", or "the master with clenched fists", and within that context reflects on how the pendulum of superiority and dominance in their relationship has slowly swung towards him. Upon closer examination, this is a fact which his father is either oblivious to, or chooses to be indifferent about. Does the rhetoric utilized suffice In my opinion it was effectively wielded given the context and tone of the essay. This is an essay about a child's relationship with his father, the difficulties they had in reconciling their affection for one another, and the gradual shifts in perspective as the child grew older. Manning sounds very solemn, even poignant in outlining his experiences. Hence, the numerous metaphors and "special names" he uses in addressing his father are appropriate. Why Asking one to reveal so much about one's strained childhood is already a stretch in itself. This is not an easy task to do, and you would have to conjure up some Freudian machinations to get to the very bottom of those unconscious reaches of Manning's head. ...
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