Is Hiram McDowell a bad father?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Is Hiram McDowell a bad father?

Post by Fuzaila » 01 Oct 2018, 23:57

The protagonist of the book Hiram McDowell is portrayed as a man of varied shades. While his children are connected to him in many odd ways, he's never really present in their lives. Do you think this makes him a bad father? Or do you think otherwise? Why/Why not?
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 02 Oct 2018, 00:25

Well, he improves himself towards the end of this read. He is a man with fault, yet he changed after running away from Prison. His character in Part I is a typical, runaway, and irresponsible father who was only interested in power and money. He's particularly attached to one daughter who helped him to publish his book, but he changed in Part II of the book. Seems like a father trying to mend his mistakes.
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Post by KMSingh » 02 Oct 2018, 09:39

Coles does something very strange with McDowell and his relationship to his children. He isn't really present to them yet he bears an overwhelming influence on them that keeps them stunted. Once he experiences his fall from grace he is still not present to them, but his overbearing influence diminishes and allows them to finally grow up. In the end, it's hard to make judgments of good or bad parenting. In my own experience, parenting choices often have both good and bad effects of varying degrees and also vary per child. I look at my siblings and myself (who grew up with the same parents and circumstances) and how differently we each turned out, at least so far. We are each a work in progress, after all.
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Post by HollandBlue » 02 Oct 2018, 10:36

I think in the beginning of the book he's too self-centered to be a good father.
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Post by JuliaKay » 02 Oct 2018, 14:46

In the beginning of the book, he certainly seems like a father who has many flaws and who isn't very present. I think he probably loves and cares for his biological children in this own way though. The important thing to remember about parents is that nobody is perfect, especially when it comes to raising children. I realize his mistakes and tries to do better later, and that is a big step - many fathers never get to that point. Is he a good father? No. Bad? I think that's something only his children can answer.
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Post by bear_6743 » 02 Oct 2018, 18:04

I think at times it is a good thing he is not so involved with his children. I do not feel that he would be a good role model even with all of his professional success. He is a strong of example of being a ruthless and ambitious person but as far as being an example of good and moral character, I think not.

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Post by Nerea » 03 Oct 2018, 02:38

A good and caring Father is one who continuously creates time for his family especially children, Support them to achieve their goal in life and influence their way of life in a positive way. Hiram McDowell does not reflect any of these traits. So he is not a good father.
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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 03 Oct 2018, 02:53

I think he is a terrible father and my argument rests wholly on the issue of his son getting Hiram's step-daughter pregnant and how he handled that entire situation.
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Post by Britty01 » 03 Oct 2018, 11:52

rheanna11 wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 18:04
I think at times it is a good thing he is not so involved with his children. I do not feel that he would be a good role model even with all of his professional success. He is a strong of example of being a ruthless and ambitious person but as far as being an example of good and moral character, I think not.
I agree with that assessment. He might be a reasonable parent for some, and his children might survive despite his behavior but as for being a good parent he does not come close. I might feel sympathy for such a man, but it would not be respect.

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Post by Sushan » 03 Oct 2018, 12:19

As a person his personality is corrupted. So his fatherhood is also affected by that. This influenced his children a lot and when it is seen in that angle, yes he is a bad father
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Post by CatInTheHat » 03 Oct 2018, 20:29

He was not a good father but he still showed love for his children in a variety of ways. He found ways to spend time with them and then later he found ways to keep in touch.
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 05 Oct 2018, 08:30

He's not a bad father but he could be a better one. He has spent time with his kids even though he should take more part in their lives at times. He also wasn't much of a role model either. It is probably good his kids didn't spend a lot of time with him.
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Post by Kibetious » 08 Oct 2018, 07:26

At the start of the book, he definitely appears to be a bad father. He storms out when he has a little argument with his wife, taking his son with him for supper. I do not think that this portrays good fatherhood.
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Post by Kibetious » 08 Oct 2018, 07:27

BookReader+6 wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 10:36
I think in the beginning of the book he's too self-centered to be a good father.
This is true and I am of the same opinion also. He was too egocentric to be a good father.
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Post by HollandBlue » 08 Oct 2018, 07:33

Kibetious wrote:
08 Oct 2018, 07:26
At the start of the book, he definitely appears to be a bad father. He storms out when he has a little argument with his wife, taking his son with him for supper. I do not think that this portrays good fatherhood.
Good point!
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