Response to Sanders’s “The Inheritance of Tools” and “Under the Influence”

“I tell these things not only from memory but also from my recent observation, because my own son now turns blocks of wood into nailed porcupines, dumps cans full of sawdust at my feet and sculpts highways on the  floor.” (Saunders pp 5).  I still notice every twitch of emotion in the faces around me, having learned as a child to read the weather in faces, and I blame myself for their least pang of unhappiness or anger.” (Saunders pp. 12).  These two sentences are in agreement with each other  because they share the same idea of how your life with your father will affect your own life.

“My father would let me lacerate the board until my arm gave out, and then he would wrap his hand around mine and help me finish the cut, showing me how to use my thumb to guide the blade, how to pull back on the saw to keep it from binding, how to let my shoulder do the work.” (Saunders pp. 4). “Like a torture victim who refuses to squeal, he would never admit that he had touched a drop, not even in his last year, when he seemed to be dissolving in alcohol before our very eyes.” (Saunders pp. 3). These two sentences contradicted each other because one father is affected by his object in a good way when around his family while the other father is affected by his object in a bad way.

Saunders could write two different essays with two very different perspectives on the character because he wants to give his readers a taste of the good and the bad. Basically, he’s letting us know the possibilities of what would happen if the character’s father had a different personality that would affect him in a different way. Many people have different tastes and may prefer one story to the other depending on which one is more interesting or believable when it comes to how work affects you in life. In the Inheritance of Tools, the father taught his son how to handle a hammer, a family hierloom, that would make him a hardworking man that loves to take care of his family. In Under the Inluence, the protagonist’s father had an unhealthy alchoholism problem that would eventually lead him to feel guilty about himself and consider his workaholic tendencies equally as bad. That way, it makes us look at both viewpoints in an interesting way instead of focusing  one setting when it comes to explaining the subject.


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