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In Defense Of Mr. Winfield Essay

817 words - 4 pages

Mr. Winfield is a moral person, and the girls in O'Hara's story are implicated in a conspiracy against him. The only relation Winfield wants from Farnsworth is that of a friend. When he arrives at his old home for Thanksgiving, he is filled with sorrow. Every characteristic about the house is "absolutely strange to him" (O'Hara 5), including the names near the telephone. He assumes there is "an altogether different crowd of people coming up here these days" (3). This, coupled with the fact that "it [has been] fifteen years since he [has] been up here in the summertime" (4), saddens and depresses the already melancholy Winfield. As he relaxes in his former room, "old thoughts [come] to ...view middle of the document...

Winfield is no longer an alcoholic. After his daughter asks him nervously what he would like to drink, Winfield "[is] amused" (4). He tells her "cocoa would be fine" (4). When asked straightforwardly if he was "on the wagon" (4), he provides a clear-cut response: "Still on it. Up there with the driver" (5).There is a conspiracy against Winfield. From the moment he meets the girls in the limousine, this is clear. Winfield, while being the eldest of all the passengers he is made to "sit on the strapontin" (1), the most uncomfortable seat in the car. This is quite disrespectful of the girls. During the ride he is treated with additional contempt as he "[understands] that he [is] not expected to contribute to the conversation" (2). If it were only disrespect, disregard, and contempt that he is treated with then it would not be a conspiracy, but other factors contribute to it. The girls know of his former alcoholism and try to tempt him by stopping at a hotel. His granddaughter suspiciously asks, "Wouldn't you like to stop here, Grandfather?" (2). It is evident that they are trying to make a mockery of Winfield.Later on in the story, the planned humiliation crosses the line. As dinner approaches,...

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