English Essay on A Father learns A Lesson from His Son

Comparison and Contrast of Characters

The setting of the short story, ‘A Father learns A Lesson from His Son’ is in a village. There are three characters, Velan who lives with his elderly father Kuppan and his ten-year-old son Muthu. Despite the fact that Kuppan is old and often ill, Velan fails to take good care of him and even underfeeds and insults him. Consequently, the behavior of Velan brings restlessness and lack of harmony within the family. The narrator depicts different characters that in spite of being of the same lineage possess different personalities. The way the characters treat each other differ and this illustrates different archetypes throughout the story. Therefore, this paper will discuss the similarities and differences between the three characters by outlining their characteristics. Arguably, it is the duty of every child to honor their parents regardless of their health conditions, age or social status. Parents strive hard to bring up their children and thus they deserve and expect to be respected and taken care of by them during their old age.

In this narrative, Muthu comes out as the protagonist as at the end of the story he uses a very noble and unique way to teach his father Velan the right way of handling and treating parents. Additionally, Muthu predominantly shows goodness and strives to stop the evil character of his father in a bid to restore peace and harmony within the family. According to the storyteller, Muthu was a good and kind-hearted boy and respected his grandfather, “He was a very good boy and had great respect for his grandfather.”  Kuppan is to an extent similar to his grandson, he was kind to his son Velan and looked after him as he was growing up, “His father was kind to Velan He had looked after Velan very well.” (English for Students, 2016)  The power and nobility of Muthu, the hero, is reflected by Kuppan throughout the story making him a loyal retainer archetype.

Velan is an antagonist in this narrative since his character opposes that of the protagonist, “Velan was a bad man.” (English for Students, 2016)  His ignorance and cruelty make him considerably different from his son regarding wisdom and intelligence. Though Velan was the father and the older one, his behavior had no traces of intelligence, and he lacked respect for elders. His drinking and the way he made his father suffer depict a man who lacks wisdom by letting his cruelty lead him into disrespecting his father, notwithstanding the outcomes. On the contrary, Muthu appears to understand the benefits as well as the consequences of kindly treating and respecting the elderly. Being an intelligent child, he does not confront his father for mistreating his grandfather; rather he uses his father’s carpentry tools to make a wooden plate for him. When the father inquires what he is doing, he embraces the opportunity to teach him a lesson. Muthu’s wise action was for the good of every family member because his father decided to change and even stop drinking which was a good step for his health. Likewise, Kuppan also benefited since he no longer suffered and his son respected him and for Muthu, he finally restored peace in the family, emerging as the hero.

To sum up, Muthu’s contribution towards his father positive change of behavior is an illustration of wisdom and intelligence. Besides, the way he does it shows that he still respects his father. Velan’s realization of his mistakes and decision to change from his bad behavior is a sign that he was the evil figure with a good heart after all.  The morality of the story is that parents should always be honored as this comes along with blessings. Every parent deserves respect from their child in spite of the situation surrounding them.



English for Students. (2016). A Short Story: A Father learns A Lesson from His Son. English for Students. Retrieved 25 September 2016, from http://www.english-for-students.com/A-Father-learns-A-Lesson-from-His-Son.html