Taking Care Joy Williams

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The short story “Taking Care” by Joy Williams is about a man’s tribulations in life. The main character is Jones. He is a preacher who is a steadfastly loving man who assumes the roles of mother and father to his infant granddaughter while the child's mother his daughter runs away to Mexico and his own cherished wife is dying of leukemia. Jones has to cope with a dying relationship with his wife, irresponsible daughter and his religious beliefs as well as his granddaughter. The theme is that love can be a tragic flaw so we should occasionally evaluate our relationships and not take any of them for granted. Jones is a local preacher. After his wife becomes ill and is admitted to a hospital, it becomes necessary for him to take care of…show more content…
As he gets older and reevaluates his life he is forced to acknowledge the truth about his relationships with his daughter, his wife, and God. He feels sadness for his daughter, who abandoned her daughter and husband. As a father, he feels responsible for his daughter’s behavior even though she is an adult. The audience can gather from the details of the letters they write to each other what type of relationship he and his daughter have. In his daughter’s letters, she does not mention Jones, her mother, or even her own daughter. This detail shows how important her family is to her. When Jones writes to his daughter, he constantly uses “take care” as he does in “unwarranted situations as when he purchases pipe cleaners or drives through toll booths” which shows how their relationship has lost its intimacy and is now reduced to casual pleasantries. He remembers the time he and his daughter were close. They would do things like chores together and play pranks on each other “for years on April Fool’s Day, she would take tobacco out of his humidor and fill it with cornflakes”. This prank specifically shows that Jones’ daughter was probably unhappy with her father smoking which is a sign that their relationship was starting to get rocky. His relationship with his daughter got worse as time went on, and now he is “full of remorse and astonishment”. The tender care Jones now takes in raising his granddaughter is probably a way of redeeming himself from the failed relationship he had with his

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