Penny in the Dust

8 August 2016

In the short story Penny in the Dust by Ernest Buckler, the author uses the method of presenting Peter’s view on this father and his father’s view on him by contrasting and comparing. By doing so, it shows that miscommunication will cause problems between people unless they open up to each other. Peter is portrayed as an imaginative child but at the same time has a very mature view on things especially towards his father. Being a child, he looks up to his father and respects and tries to understand him.

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He knows his father isn’t what many might think he is, instead Peter knows he is confident, determined and “an inarticulate man a little at sea with an imaginative child” (Buckler pg. 1). He feels that his father is very mature and wants to be just like him in the future. In other words, he doesn’t want to be looked down on by him. A perfect example would be when Peter loses the penny his father game him. When it was lost, Peter was devastated and feared that he would be seen as irresponsible and juvenile by his father. Not only that, his perspective on his father defines who Peter is.

Knowing thoughtfulness that his father showed made Peter guilty as well. Despite the importance of Peter’s view on his father, his father’s view on Peter is essential as well. As mentioned in the book, Peter’s father doesn’t quite know how to communicate with his beloved son; his causing him to care a lot about how his son looks at him. One of the biggest perspectives he has on Peter is that he is always being judged by him. Most of the time negatively, because of their lack of communication and misunderstanding that has built up between them.

He constantly and want approval from his son that he is doing the right thing and being a good parent. One of the ways he expressed his care was giving Peter the shiny new penny. Along with giving something new and interesting to Peter, he was hoping to show his affection for him at the same time. Like an effort to help bond closer to Peter, a child’s world where “he could never intrude on it without feeling awkward and conscious of trespass. ” To add on, since he values Peter’s view on him, it was probably devastating for him to know that Peter hid from him after he lost the penny by accident.

At that moment, Peter’s father was upset thinking he was scary or too strict in his son’s eyes but when it was actually something very different. When Peter finally explained why he hid, his father felt extremely touched. All it took was a little communication and a great amount of understanding for the fear to be chased away. Peter’s father’s view is a huge part in enhancing the father and son relationship theme of the story. Last but not lease, how do these two views contrast and compare with one another? First of all, they are heavily influenced by the chemistry that takes place between each other.

Since they have little communication, Peter and his father’s view is based solely on what they think without any solid proof. Much of their view s are probably trusted and changed by their inner fears and thoughts. For example, fear prays a huge part in both of their perspectives. Peter’s fear was losing the only connection he had with his father when he lost the penny. Thus, causing him to hide and send the wrong messages to his father. With that simple miscommunication it caused Peter’s father’s thought of what Peter thinks of him to completely change into something negative.

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