In these two tales, both authors depict the status of his/her parent/child connection during specific spatial periods and their perception of stepwise changes. They do this by expressing the difficulty they had in understanding the affection coming from each of their fathers respectively throughout their childhoods. Whereas these stories are similar in their subject matter, each author has different conditions regarding their connections with their dad and different ways of using description to depict their stories. After investigating each story, I believe Brad Manning’s “Arm Wrestling with My Dad” is stronger than Sarah Vowell’s “Shooting Dad” in terms of sharing with the readers a more intimate glimpse of the relationship between father and child.
Brad Manning’s “Arm Wrestling with My Father” is about a father and child connection which provides a snapshot of the individual facets of the family unit, but also illustrates the dynamics of psychological consequences on the family. At the opening of the story, readers are confronted with the concept of a “predator and prey” position in which Manning’s father takes the role of the superior being. This view emerges after a game of arm wrestling waged between Manning and his father in which Manning, as narrator, loses in the end. When he says, “…I habitually had to misplace,” he is referring to the fact that he had not ever won a single match of arm wrestling against his father in his whole life. The imagery of Manning’s father being on top of him and wiping the essence of victory towards his son, who was lying on his back, proves that his father has a “superiority” mind-set as he was mocking on the “inferior”. In this article, readers could see that Manning engages in the custom of arm wrestling not because he enjoyed it as an activity with his father, but only engages in the sport to please his father. It is clear that his ultimate goal is to eventually be accepted by