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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Roselights
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Re: Is Hiram McDowell a bad father?

Post by Roselights » 01 Nov 2018, 01:50

I think his care is more on money and less on family; wife and children but for fear of losing out he fights to mend their relationship.

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Post by Vickie Noel » 01 Nov 2018, 10:05

Parenting is a full time responsibility and not everyone is ready for it, despite society pressures. Therefore, anyone not at least, mentally prepared for the highs and lows shouldn't venture into it under the guise of winging it or not being perfect. There are just certain expectations that are required of all parents, regardless of personality differences some of which include love, care and emotional support. Hiram didn't set out as a good father and it took a fall from grace to make him remotely aware of that fact.
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Post by ShailaSheshadri » 01 Nov 2018, 12:05

Mc Dowell is my favorite novel. I have read the entire book. I don't think Hiram Mc Dowell is a bad father. In spite of his busy lifestyle, he has tried to guide his children whenever required. When his grown-up daughter Sophie was in trouble, he stayed with her for a few days and comforted her. Despite his busy schedule, Mc Dowell took his teenage son Billy often with him for music concerts. Even while trying a thing like euthanasia with his own grandson Jeremy who was in a vegetative state, Mc Dowell might have considered the freedom of his daughter from the agony.

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Post by Gracamac » 01 Nov 2018, 23:57

He's not a very considerate man, it affects how he parents his children.

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Post by fredrick otieno » 04 Nov 2018, 00:49

It really depends on how you look at it, in the beginning you may say so but at the end we see another side of him which would cancel the side of him we see on the beginning.

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Post by T_stone » 04 Nov 2018, 04:03

In the first part of the book, he was all about himself and that took a bad toll on his children. Seeking redemption mihht have been a good idea. But to me, that was a little bit selfish of him after living a self centered life. He loves his children , but he has an odd way of showing it. He loves his children but he's not a good father.
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Post by starshipsaga » 04 Nov 2018, 20:26

If a father is not a good role model or influence for his kids, might it be better for them if he is not in their lives versus a father who is always present but treats his children badly or is a negative influence in their lives? When I first read this topic, my instinct was to immediately answer "no", but it appears there is a lot more at place in the case with Hiram. He's a complicated character, and has a complicated relationship with his kids. I had to think about this one a lot.

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Post by Farida Bali » 04 Nov 2018, 22:53

I think Hiram McDowell was an okay father, he could have been better but he could also have been worse. I found it impressive that he supported his son's desire to have a career in music. Also, he took care of one of his daughter's, Sophie in his own way when she went through a period of depression.

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Post by Loveli » 05 Nov 2018, 06:15

He won't win any award for 'father of the year', but I don't think he is a bad father. It is clear that he loves his children and only wants what's best for them, even if they don't necessarily agree on what's best.

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Post by Kibetious » 06 Nov 2018, 01:12

It seems that Hiram being a bad father is caused by a variety of interacting factors that include his adventurous life and desire to climb every peak above 8,000 meters in Nepal. It also seems that Carole was not worsening the situation by ignoring him which made him worse.
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Post by Shilpa Paul » 09 Nov 2018, 01:16

Does providing money makes you a good father? Definitely not.Giving Love, caring, sharing , spending quality time and getting involved in the day to day activities of a kid makes a good father.

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Post by Faithmwangi » 09 Nov 2018, 03:23

As a general figure, Hiram McDowell cannot be admired for his personality traits. However, his faults do not deter him from providing and caring for his children, even in ways society would term as wrong. He does lack adequate involvement in their lives though.

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Post by cristinaro » 09 Nov 2018, 07:31

On the whole, my answer would be "yes", Hiram McDowell is a bad father despite some of his later actions seeking some redemption. He doesn't care about his son's feelings and ends up separating Billy from Tasha. Although he does help Sophie get out of her depression, he does this in an intrusive and rather aggressive manner with no patience or understanding for her feelings. Even his gesture of disconnecting the machines keeping Jeremy alive is a selfish thing because he seems to act on impulse without giving any thought to the consequences of his actions. When he is a runaway, he doesn't stop to think of how his children handle the whole situation. All he does is call Sophie from time to time to talk about the publishing of his memoir.
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Post by ochiengjr01 » 14 Nov 2018, 08:36

Yeah, as for me i agree he deserves to be a bad father. Because i believe being a father you need to be a role model to your children. But Hirams characters were wanting for his children.

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Post by SpencerVo » 14 Nov 2018, 13:43

KMSingh wrote:
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.
I completely agree with this!
He tried to be a sufficient father in his own way, but overall he was pretty bad. His advice was sometimes self-serving, and in the end he still cared about his needs more than his children'. I was curious to see how he was gonna patch their relationships, but too bad his life was cut short before he had a chance to.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

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