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Word Count: 842
Dysfunctional family relationships form the basis of many Canadian short stories Often tragedy is the end result of severe family breakdown In other cases personality defects are directly traceable to poor family dynamics In the stories Hurt Fall of a City and The Sound of Hollyhocks there were very profound family problems The difficulty in the fatherson relationship in Hurt reflects a role reversal Even though Stevie is only a young boy he took care of himself and his father Stevie made his own meals and when his father was inebriated he went down to the store and got him a couple bottles of vanilla to sober up on pg 195 In a family situation a young child such as Stevie should not have the responsibility of taking care of his parent Moreover even when Stevies father was sober Stevie could do whatever he liked without consequence Skip described such a freedom when he said that Stevie went to school when he wanted to go pg 193 This lack of rules or an authority figure demonstrates the dysfunctionality of this family Also Stevies father was a violent alcoholic Skip observed that somedays Stevies father would be pounding on the walls with his fists and swearing and crying all at the same time pg 195 The parentchild role reversal the lack of structure discipline and authority in the home and the violent episodes demonstrate the degree of dysfunction in this family Fall of a City depicts the dysfunctional relationship between Teddy and his guardians Teddys aunt is constantly ordering him around After asking Teddy what he was doing in the attic she says very harshly Well young man you better wipe that scowl off your face and march to the bathroom and get ready for supper pg 43 His aunts coldness certainly contributes to their imperfect relationship Furthermore Teddy has a strained connection with his uncle because of
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