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Word Count: 397
Forgiving A Debt A Reading of Lucille Cliftons forgiving my father Lucille Cliftons forgiving my father begins with the speaker declaring that it is the end of the week and the bills are due The speaker then reveals that both of her parents are dead yet she is still awaiting payment and I hold it her palm out like a good daughter 7 How can she expect something that she knows she can never obtain While directed toward her father the speakers tone becomes discourteous She confronts him calling him old lecher 9 old liar 10 and daddy old pauper old prisoner old dead man 20 These names dont necessarily sound forgiving Why then is the title called forgiving my father It sounds as if the speaker holds a grudge against her father for being poor The speaker believes that her father owed something more to her mother She tells him she wishes you were rich so I could take it all 10 and give the lady what she is due 11 This proves that she didnt think her father had done enough for her mother She thought that her mother deserved so much more than what he could afford to give her She wrote you gave her all you had 14 and angrily adds which was nothing 15 She is obviously unhappy that her father was so poor although he probably had little control over it The speaker shows more disappointment with her father when she exclaims you are the pocket that was going to open 17 then continues and come up empty any friday 18 This shows us how unreliable she thought her father was The daughter compares her parents marriage to an unfavorable unity you were eachothers bad bargain not mine 19 Shouldnt marriage be a happy and joyful union not something that you cant stand The conflict is finally resolved when the speaker wonders What am I doing here collecting 21
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