We live in a changing society, where people have to deal with hardships, emotions and differences. The relationship of father to daughter is one of the hardest. We as people have come along way, it used to be a father and daughter couldn’t be close. The mother and daughter are together and the father and son are together. Now it is encouraged for different sexes to be close. In the “Golden Darters” Elizabeth Winthrop uses symbolism to demonstrate the difficulty of a father-daughter bond.
In the beginning of the story Winthrop uses the symbol of the golden darter to show how different fathers and daughters are. Emily the young girl in the story has gone up to the lake house with her family for the month of July. Her father has taken up the hobby of fly-tying, a peaceful and relaxing hobby. Throughout the story we come across the importance of fly-tying to the father.
I was the only child allowed to stand next to him while he worked (146)
Emily and her father weren’t close, which is why I imagine to be the reason of her fathers sudden wanting of Emily to tie flies. Although Emily had other ideas
we talked to boys, smoke and, had leg shaving parties. (151)
Despite Emily’s unwillingness to help her father, she finally gives in to her father’s demands.
Because it’s time for you to try
That’s ok I want to just watch
Nonsense, Emily. You’ll do just fine. (147)
As you can see Emily and her father may come from the same family but there is an obvious difference in opinion between the two.
Through the use of symbol of the golden darter, Winthrop suggests that the reason for the daughter’s different ideals come from the age difference with her father. You can break the overall concept of father-daughter difference into sub groups. Such as age, gender, and background, the one that stands out to me is age. People change with age, the 60’s are different from the 90’s as well as the people in those very different years have changed as well. In the story “Golden Darters” the age barrier definitely stands out.
That is not the purpose for which the flies were intended.
Oh I know that, but they look good this way.
In this instance the young girl’s instincts surpass her fathers wishes to honor what her father had shared with her, and to cherish the experience of fly-tying.
Throughout the story Withrop uses the golden darter to symbolize the repeating result to the father and daughter inability to relate to each other. The sol reason for Emily’s father getting involved with tying was because he had a serious operation on his back. It started as just something to keep busy with, but he soon came to love it, he loved being relaxed and in control. Emil was noticeably not exited for being able to tie flies with her dad, considering she would do anything to get out of the house
I joined trips with my mother to the library and to the general store.
Emily obviously didn’t feel comfortable being with her father if she chose to avoid him constantly.
Are you going out again Emily, I was hoping we could get some work done on this minnow
This constant act on Emily’s part is partly due to the vastly different age. Emily want to be out with friends playing or doing girl stuff.
While her father want to do something Relaxing and entertaining to him as well. Just the idea of Emily’s father asking her to help him should overwhelm her tremendously.
In the story, Emily and her father struggle with the differences they both show throughout the story. Emily is young not yet mature, on the other side her dad is mature and tries to find relaxing hobbies. When these two differences cross there views of each other began to shift.
The golden darter symbolized how different Emily and her father really are. Emily feels the darter would make for good earrings but this conflicts with her dad’s ideas and he takes it as a personal insult. This struggle of father daughter bonding is faced by everyone in today’s society. Were in a new era in which the closeness of one with another is desired