The portrayal of the father in five selected works of Michael Anthony
Mate, Antony Mukasa
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This study explores the portrayal of the father figure in three novels and two selected short stories by Trinidadian writer, Michael Anthony: The Year in San Fernando; Green Days by the River; The Games Were Coming; "The Distant One" and "Drunkard of the River". The five works are purposively selected from Michael Anthony's corpus of writing because they aptly cover the subject of the present study. The study seeks to investigate how the presence or absence of the father impacts on other characters. This study employs Masculinity and Stylistics theories. Masculinity theory as advanced by Raewyn Connell has been used to show how the father has been constructed in the Caribbean family in Antliony's works while Stylistics theory is used to illuminate the various stylistic features that Michael Anthony engages to present the father figure in the selected works. Since the proposed study is qualitative in nature, it heavily relies on a close reading and analysis of Michael Anthony's selected works augmented by secondary sources such as journals, dissertations, internet sources and other relevant materials relating to our area of study. During our analysis of families where the father is completely absent, it emerges that Anthony depicts these families as dysfunctional because the father's role in the family is significant and cannot be substituted by the mother. It also emerges in Anthony's works that fathers who are present but cannot, provide for their families show patterns of irresponsibility and inferiority complex as mothers are left to fend for these families. We recommend that further study of the phenomenon of the weak and absent father be carried out in novels by other Caribbean authors both male and female and in recent publications.