Return To Babylon 2


Return To BabylonAnalysis Essay, Research Paper

" He

would come back some day; they couldn’t make him pay forever. But he wanted his

child, and nothing was much good now, beside that fact. He wasn’t young any

more, with a lot of nice thoughts and dreams to have by himself. He was

absolutely sure Helen wouldn’t have wanted him to be so alone."The final

paragraph in the story shows how much Charlie loved his daughter, and how much

he needs her to complete his life. I feel that in "Babylon Revisited"

Charlie was treated unfairly and should have won the custody of Honoria.

Charlie’s regret of how he lived in the past is proved repeatedly throughout

the story and even with the hardship of losing his wife and daughter, Charlie

was still able to put his life back together. The mistakes he made in the past

were not all his fault; there was a problem in the stock market that put a

heavy burden on his shoulders. He has done more than enough to show Marion that

he has changed and is capable of taking care of Honoria. However, the story may

also be a bit biased considering that the narrator may not be a reliable

person. There are also certain situations in the story, which questions

Charlie’s sincerity about how much he has changed. I think

that Charlie’s love for Honoria is the biggest reason for him to regain her

custody. Throughout the story, Charlie has expressed how much he loves Honoria

and how much he needs her in his life. Honoria also expresses how much she

loves her father and how much she misses him. She tells her father more than

once that she would rather live with him than with her Aunt Marion. To separate

a father and daughter from each other is both devastating and cruel. It is hard

to understand why Marion would not let Charlie have Honoria, when Honoria

expresses so much love for her father. "From

behind the maid who opened the door darted a lovely little girl of nine who

shrieked ‘Daddy!’ and flew up, struggling like a fish, into his arms. She

pulled his head around by one ear and set her cheek against his. ‘My old

pie,’ he said ‘Oh,

daddy, daddy, daddy, dads, dads, dads!’The

narrator does not hesitate to show how much Honoria and Charlie care for each

other. Though Honoria was just a little girl, growing up without a father is

still harsh. Still her love for Charlie is unconditional, and questions about

the past are not brought up. Their strong relationship is almost invincible,

and though love cannot always keep a family together, it is a start. Marion

does see how much love is between Honoria and her father, and seems to be

bitter about it. I think that she wanted Honoria to be as hateful to Charlie as

she was. Still living in the past, Marion just does not want to forgive Charlie

for what he did to her sister"I

try to think what she would have wanted me to do. Frankly, from the night you

did that terrible thing you haven’t really existed for me. I can’t help that.

She was my sister."However, I

also try to sympathize with Marion, she did loose her sister and is trying to

do what is right for Honoria. Though Charlie does love Honoria, he still might

not be responsible enough to take care of her. I think that Marion just does

not want Charlie to make the same mistake again and bring Honoria down with

him. Every day

Charlie has regretted his past and everyday he tries to redeem himself by

working hard. However, as I look at the situation he was in, I notice that his

actions were not all his fault. Stress from the crash in the market had a big

role on his heavy drinking. There were many people that were affected during

this depression, and Charlie was just one of them. He explains in the story how

he gave Helen full guardianship because he was in such a rut due to the market.

Everything just seemed to hit him all at once and he dealt with it in a way

many people might have. ".When

I consented to the guardianship, I was flat on my back in a sanitarium and the

market had cleaned me out. I knew I’d acted badly, and I thought if it would

bring any peace to Helen, I’d agree to anything. But now it’s different. I’m

functioning, I’m behaving damn well."Looking at

what Charlie has done in the past to make things right, I see a big

improvement. He basically lost everything important to him, his wife, daughter,

and his lifestyle. What I admire about him most, is how he learned from his

mistakes and instead of feeling sorry for himself he got back on his feet and

started making changes. He used Honoria as his motivation to put what was left

of his life back together. He has been sober for over a year, and has plenty of

money to support Honoria. Charlie understands that he messed up and I think

admitting that was a big step to take. ".It

would be silly for me to deny that about three years ago I was acting badly.

but that’s over. As I told you, I haven’t had more than a drink a day for over

a year, and I take that drink deliberately so that the idea of alcohol won’t

get too big in my imagination. You see the idea?"I still do

not get the full concept of his one drink a day stunt. I understand that he

does it to show his control, but I still think that it would be a better idea

if he did not drink at all. This is the only concern I have about Charlie’s

responsibility. But as I looked at the situation closer, I became more

confident that Charlie would not start drinking again. I noticed that when

Charlie found out that he was not going to get Honoria back, he still did not

drink anymore than his daily whisky. If he did not break down during his lowest

moment, why would he start drinking at his highest? It would not make any sense

to ruin everything that he had worked so hard for. I think

that the story shows how much Charlie has done to win back his daughter. The

narrator did an excellent job of showing the strengths Charlie has and giving

excuses to his weaknesses. The way the narrator makes Charlie seem as though he

does not miss his past, is a bit sneaky. The scenes where Charlie visited the

old bars and pubs seemed at first a bit confusing. Why did he go back to those

places? Shouldn’t he be trying to forget them? However, as I re read the story

I notice how the narrator makes it seem that Charlie was just curious how the

place was like without being drunk."He

left soon after dinner, but not to go home. He was curious to see Paris by

night with clearer and more judicious eyes than those of other days." The

narrator also makes Charlie seem as though he regrets what had happened in this

city. ".I

spoiled this city for myself. I didn’t realize it, but the days came alone one

after another, and then two years were gone, and everything was gone, and I was

gone."It made me

wonder how trust worthy the narrator was. As I

analyzed both sides of the argument, I still feel as though Charlie deserved

his daughter. The fact that the narrator might be unreliable is not a good

enough reason for me to believe that Charlie is not responsible enough. I think

that we have to give the narrator a certain amount of trust because he is the

one telling the story and we have no other sources to compare with. If the

narrator cannot be considered reliable then the story itself should not be

trustworthy enough to read. So we must deal with the facts that are given to us

and base most of the decisions on them. With this in mind I look at the

situation evenly and try not to fully believe the narrator but still consider

what he is saying. I understand that Charlie made a big mistake and hurt not

only himself, but those that loved him. There is no excuse for what he did.

However, I still believe that the strong bond that is between Honoria and

Charlie is unbreakable. Being raised in a family where the strength of love has

endured all types of hardships, I have experienced that nothing could ever

sever those connections. Loving someone does not mean that Honoria or Marion should

try to forget the mistakes Charlie had made or the heartaches he has given

them. But instead, to love someone is to learn how to understand and most

importantly to forgive.?

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