“He had only been inside his father’s bedroom a few times, and then only to clean, which was in itself an invariably bittersweet experience. Tins of smoked kippers, baked beans, corned beef, and exotic fruits all sat stacked, unused, unopened. Some, contoured into tortured shapes were well past their use-by dates. Bought for some special moment that never seemed to come, they were eventually thrown away. Shirts, still shrink-wrapped, mocked the holed one he wore. Vitals of holy water, collected from every gifted Catholic bishop or priest between home and Timbuktu, stood in a shaky pyramid in the corner. A sip, taken with a couple aspirin, worked miracles on headaches, his father swore. In the corners, ornamented tea services leaned against stacks of Reader’s Digests and newspapers.” (144)
This passage for me really showed me the relationship that Elvis had with his father. Throughout the book up to this point we see them have verbal exchanges that would not be characterized as being loving. We also have Elvis tell us that his father treated him poorly after his mother died. He even told Comfort that his father did not love him. But this scene really proved that to me. The narrator tells us that Elvis has only been inside his father’s bedroom a few times, and those few times were only to clean. I can’t imagine not going inside my parent’s bedroom and we live in the same house. I am inside my parent’s room all the time, having conversations, watching television, or a movie. I even get ready with my mom before we go out sometimes. So for a child to say that they have only been inside there father’s room a few times to me really shows the strain on their relationship, if it can even be called a relationship. From this passage it seems more like a servant and master than a father and son. He says that the experience of being in the room is bittersweet. This is probably because Elvis remembers when he used to go in his mother’s room at night and sleep with her when he was afraid. It also is probably hard to see all this spoiled food that is going to be thrown away, when they are struggling to survive. It is probably a slap in the face to see this food saved for a special occasion that has never come.
This passage also shows me more of Sunday’s personality. He is the last person that you would expect to be saving food for a special occasion. He seems more like the one to celebrate a drink at the bar than anything that has to do with his family. Also he is not the type of person you would expect to have holy water. I guess this is the irony showing in his name, that he would have holy water from priests and use to cure a headache and most likely a drunken headache. This was just eye-opening for me to really understand the relationship between Sunday and Elvis, and show Sunday’s personality.