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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Life In Books
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Re: Is Hiram McDowell a bad father?

Post by Life In Books » 22 Oct 2018, 01:10

I think McDowell could not manage himself as a good father. There were instances where he was sure, he did not care about his stepchildren. His behavior was also quite irresponsible as a father which he might have realized later.

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Post by jenjayfromSA » 22 Oct 2018, 09:02

To an extent, he saw his children as extensions of himself, not as people in their own right. They were part of his self image, so they had to be successful. He cared about them as he cared about himself - in both cases a great deal. He made sure Billie became a good drummer; he got Sophie her chance. He was irritated and angry when they made their own choices. He was a bad father. Later, I think, he softened, but even so he only contacted Sophie because he needed help with his book.

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Post by Ijeoma Kikelomo » 22 Oct 2018, 14:40

At first he was absolutely not a good father figure, but later on, he shows signs of changing and becoming a better man. I don't think Hiram ever mastered the art of human relationship.

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Post by Jmteachmom » 22 Oct 2018, 17:41

I don't think McDowell would have won father of the year, but in Part 1 there are a few moments where the fatherly attributes tried to come out. I think McDowell loved his family but didn't know how to show love. Money and wealth had blinded him.

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Post by Calypso Terrier » 22 Oct 2018, 18:47

McDowell is not with his children, yet he has a very big influence on them. I found the relationship between McDowell and his children very interesting.

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Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 22 Oct 2018, 22:37

Hiram is neither bad nor good as a father. Things would boil down to matters of perspective. On the physical aspect, he may pass on as good while providing for the material needs of a family. But on the philosophical aspect, his views and mores may not sit well with many readers. When it comes to Theological issues touched by this novel, I keep my mind open to opinions.
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Post by Samy Lax » 22 Oct 2018, 22:52

I'd say so, yes. McDowell was never emotionally available for his children. While he didn't show himself to be a perfect father, however, he did have love in his heart for his family. He just didn't know how to emote.
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Post by briellejee » 23 Oct 2018, 03:08

At first, he portrays that of a bad father figure and husband. My father is not always present in my years of growing up but that doesn't make him a bad one.
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Post by Samuel Waragu » 23 Oct 2018, 07:22

He is not a bad father to my opinion. It is his circumstance that makes him to appear as bad, otherwise in a different better environment and context, Hiram McDowell can be a good father as I believe.
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Post by Jmteachmom » 23 Oct 2018, 08:00

Calypso Terrier wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 18:47
McDowell is not with his children, yet he has a very big influence on them. I found the relationship between McDowell and his children very interesting.
I found the same idea to be true of McDowell. At moments we see glimpses of a loving father and then his mood changes. Almost like Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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Post by Rosebella » 23 Oct 2018, 13:37

I'm half and half on this discussion. :eusa-think: I feel he was a good father because he did help his children when they needed him. He was also a bad father because his choice and judgements for his children were some times selfish and morally incomprehensible. All I can say is he wasn't a perfect father.

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Post by Kishor Rao » 24 Oct 2018, 01:19

He is not a great father. But that doesn't make him bad. He never tells Billie to stop screwing around with his step sisters but instead plants the idea in his mind. He is worried and concerned about his children's safety and tries to control them around like he does to everyone but loves them enough to let them choose and go their own way. On the other hand, he seems to love Sophie and Billie more than Ann because he never spends time with her and doesn't provide the best of the support to Ann when she was going through the terrible events.
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Post by Ayat paarsa » 24 Oct 2018, 02:57

Why McDowell was struggling to build up a career at the top level? Each father struggles to ensure the future of his kids.
But The point is that, the balloon bursts, if the more of air than its capacity is filled in it. Good deeds fall worst, if they go beyond limits. Hiram McDowell was a man who opt extremism and failed to manage a balanced life. His behavior towards the career, women and the children, all show an extreminism in his personality, that leads him to a bad charactered one. He was not a bad father, just he failed....
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Post by acremer » 24 Oct 2018, 18:39

I think the one consistent thing about McDowell is that he attempts to be a good father in his own way. It is very apparent that he loves his children and he tries to be there for them in ways that he knows how, such as through monetary support. Overall, I think he was as good of a father as he knew how to be.

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Post by Chandler_Greg » 24 Oct 2018, 22:30

Fuzaila wrote:
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?
In the first part of the book, McDowell is cut off from everyone, from humanity as a whole. Yet he maintains some connection to his children. He supports them in their chosen career paths, though that support may be primarily monetary. He doesn't seem to judge their choices or to try to force his choices on them. They grow up to be independent people. There's some suggestion that, as McDowell becomes more connected to other people in the second half of the book, that he has initiated more contact with his children.

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