In a society where children are not close with their parents, there should be more of an effort on the parents’ part to establish a close bond between parent and child. In the play Leaving Home, Jacob Mercer shows that he is not a good father by the way he insults his children, how distant he is from his children, and how little respect he has for his children. Jacob Mercer is not a good father because off the way he continuously insults his children.
We know that Jacob is not a good father because of the Screech incident involving Ben. When Jacob sat down to drink an Irish version of moonshine liquor called Screech, he asked Ben to join him. When Ben refused the drink, Jacob accused Ben of being soft, and says that he is not a man because of the fact that he does not like Screech. This is not good parenting because insults and put-downs are not healthy for relationships, especially not parent-child relationships.
Another way that Jacob proves that he is not a good father is when he tells Bill that he will not amount to more than Kathy so he shouldn’t even try. “Ah, what’s it matter if he gets married/ now or after university? He won’t do much better/ than Kathy.” This quote is an example of how Jacob insults his children. When Jacob says this to Bill, it sends him the message that his father does not believe in him. Taking in to account the fact that Jacob insults his children whenever he is around them, one may safely assume that Jacob is not a good father. Another key element in any family is a sense of closeness. Jacob Mercer proves that he is not a good father because he is distance from his kids and a s a result they are scared to talk to him about anything. Jacob becomes upset when he has to find out from Minnie that Ben is moving out and going to go live with Bill and Kathy after they get married, in their spare room. Jacob makes a big scene and then goes on to ramble about everyone in the house is against him, and that nobody ever tells him anything. Jacob can not blame his children for not sharing important moments with him because through the years of insults and neglect Jacob has distanced himself from his children. It is the same situation with Ben’s younger brother Bill. When Bill got engaged to Kathy, Jacob was the last person to know and the only reason he found out was because he found the bill for the engagement. It is not the fault of the children that they are not comfortable with their father.
This is the environment Jacob has created through years of neglect, and a lack of respect. Jacob mercer is not good father because of the lack of respect he has for his children. An example of how Jacob is not a good father was when Jacob rips up Ben’s diploma. When Jacob committed this act of disrespect, he was looking for a way to hurt Ben and he found it in ripping up the diploma because that was a symbol of Ben’s hard work, and Jacob just ripped it up. Another example of how Jacob Mercer does not respect his children is when he beats Ben with a belt. This is especially disrespectful and humiliating because Ben is an eighteen year-old man. When Jacob did this he was upset about the fact that Ben was leaving, and in a last ditch effort to show Ben that he still has power.
This is not good for many reasons; one being that getting beat with a belt at the age of eighteen would definitely damage someone’s self-confidence and self-esteem. This shows that Jacob is not a good father because every child wants to be respected just as the parents do, and in Ben and Jacobs case the respect only goes one way… with Ben giving it, but not getting it. If one were to consider the above information, they would see that Jacob Mercer is not a good father because of the way he insults his children, distances himself from his children and does not give his children any respect. This does not always have to be the case because if certain negligent parents would pay more attention to their children than problems such as the ones given above might not occur.
Cite this Leaving home by David French
Leaving home by David French. (2016, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/leaving-home-by-david-french/