“Horses of the night” by Margaret Laurence is a story about a boy named Chris that moves into his grandfather’s home to attend high school. The story is told through a narration by his younger cousin Vanessa. The poem “What Shall he Tell That Son” by Carl Sandburg is about a father telling a son about life and how he should deal with it. The poem gives advice to the son that for Chris would have been very beneficial.
In the Poem the father tells his son “Life is hard; be steel; be a rock,” this advice for Chris would have helped because although Chris was quiet and had never talked back he let the stuff people said about him get to him that led to his mental disability. When the father tells his son “Tell him time as stuff can be wasted,” he means that if you think of time as an item then you would understand how much you can actually waste by doing things that don’t matter.
When Chris leaves his grandfather’s home he disappears and whenever he came back all he did was try to sell useless stuff that did not help him in any way. If a father would have told Chris that wasting life away in that matter would have just driven him crazy and that although the depression was going he could have put to a better use by helping. In the story Chris keeps coming back to his grandfather’s home with useless things that he is trying to sell.
Although everyone their tries to put it nicely that it is a waste of time and that what he should go back home and help out Chris won’t listen. In the poem the father says “ …to have no shame over having been a fool, yet learning something out of every folly…” this would have helped Chris in understanding that although he makes mistakes he should stop making the same silly mistake over and over again.
Once Chris finally goes home Vanessa his little cousin comes to visit him; she notices that Chris is very quiet and reserved. He lets people talk over him and never talks back it is as if he is a body without a soul; as if he is somewhere far beyond the confinement of his home. If he would have had the advice that the father said to his child Chris could have turned out different. The best advice would have been “Let him seek deep for where he is born natural;” this to Chris would have been very helpful because it ould have helped him understand that he is born natural and that no matter what anyone said to him he should have learned from a younger age that nothing should ever come in the way of his dream. Sadly, Chris never had a father figure, someone who would have helped him understand the challenges that life would have thrown at him. Since Chris never had anyone to help him he shut down from a very young age and never really grew up he just became more reserved, more closed down. If he only had someone to really understand him.