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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering GeniusEvaluate Dave Eggers' parenting style. How is...

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erthabay | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 27, 2011 at 10:16 AM via web

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Evaluate Dave Eggers' parenting style. How is it different from the way he was raised. Did his parenting change throughout the novel?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 27, 2011 at 10:38 AM (Answer #2)

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Dave's relationship with his brother is a combination parent-child and sibling relationship. He worries constantly about him, but also argues with him constantly. He has never been a parent before and now has an older boy to take care of.
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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 29, 2011 at 3:46 AM (Answer #3)

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Dave is torn between trying to live a life for himself, both professional and social, and raising Toph to be as well-adjusted as possible. He makes it clear throughout that he doesn't feel like he knows what he's doing. He's very protective of his brother, almost to the point of neurosis, as reflected in the scene where he comes home to find him asleep in the chair and thinks that he's dead, poisoned by the babysitter.  As for comparing his style to that of his parents, I'd say he's more like his mother. His father, to the extent that he's mentioned at all, is portrayed as drunken and borderline abusive. By the end of the novel, he's a bit more at ease with his parenting skills, in fact taking what can only be called a fatherly pride in Toph's abilities with a Frisbee, and with Toph as a whole.

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