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What is the relationship between Lord Emsworth and Freddie like in "The Custody of the...

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tigerbeatfan1996 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM via web

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What is the relationship between Lord Emsworth and Freddie like in "The Custody of the Pumpkin"?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 8, 2012 at 12:22 AM (Answer #1)

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In P.G. Wodehouse's "The Custody of the Pumpkin" we find a recurring topic in the Wodehouse's treatment of the filial relationships between aristocratic fathers and their sons.

This tendency is to portray them as foils of each other, and as each other's arch-enemies to an extent. This is because Wodehouse usually awards the elder aristocrats the same characteristics: Absent-minded, quirky, not very bright, too much time in their hands, too much money to spend, and a lot of power and titles.

However, the younger aristocrats fare differently. They, as a reflection of their nay-doer rich parents will also share the traits of not being too bright nor creative. However, Wodehouse goes one step further by showing them as lazy drone-types who spend their lives in limbo attending social events, having fun at the men's social club, and living off the riches of their families.

This is the exact case with Lord Emsworth and his 26 year old bachelor son, Freddie, who

[..] with the passage of the years that youth had become more and more of a problem to an anxious father.  The Earl of Emsworth, like so many of Britain's
aristocracy, had but little use for the Younger Son.
And Freddie Threepwood was a particularly trying
younger son.

In true Wodehouse fashion, the description of what Freddie means to his father is quite funny. It basically says that the father has tried to marry off Freddie to an heiress in order to basically find him "something to do". Moreover, Freddie is so useless that his father actually does better without his company. He is not that son of whom every father boasts about as the future of the family. Not at all. Freddie is literally a waster and his father is the first to acknowledge it as well as the rest of the family. This is because Freddie would always get in trouble, runs debts, and causes all kinds of crazy mischief when he visits London

There seemed, in the opinion of his nearest and dearest, to be no way of coping with the boy. If he was allowed to live in London he piled up debts and got into mischief; and when hauled back home to Blandings he moped broodingly. It was possibly the fact that his demeanor at this moment was so mysteriously jaunty, his bearing so inexplicably free from the crushed misery with which
he usually mooned about the place that induced Lord
Emsworth to keep a telescopic eye on him. Some
inner voice whispered to him that Freddie was up
to no good and would bear watching.

So Freddie and his father do not have a good relationship at all. It is all because Lord Emsworth sees his son as a waste of time and money, and because Freddie really does not do much to change that opinion of him at all.

Sources:

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nicoledesilva | Student , Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted August 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM (Answer #2)

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The relationship is very awkward between them. Lord Emsworth can't wait to get rid of Freddie. He is always suspecting him. He doesn't exactly trust Freddie due to his debts which tells him that he has been gambling. In short, it is a very troubled relationship.

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ebiano | Student , Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted November 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM (Answer #4)

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In P.G.Wodehouse’s “Custody of the Pumpkin” the author writes about how Lord Emsworth as a father treats his son and vice versa.  Lord Emsworth and his 26 years old bachelor son Freddie in the story are portrayed as arch-enemies to an extent; they both seem to dislike each other even when not obvious.

Lord Emsworth is clearly crossed with his son in the story. He does not enjoy the company of his son and always keep an eye on him if possible as Lord Emsworth believes. It seems that every time  Emsworth sees his son he knows something bad is going to happen “…a sudden frown marred the serenity  of Lord Emsworth’s brow…”(pg.120). In fact Freddie had become such a bother to him, he wished Freddie was someone else’s son “...and had been the son of somebody else living a considerable distance away…”(pg.120). he grew so paranoid towards him that even his inner voice would tell him that Freddie wasn’t to do something good “Some inner voice whispered to Lord Emsworth that this smiling, prancing youth was up to no good”(pg.120). But in a way his predictions end up to be true.

Adding on, Lord Emsworth does not approve of his son’s decisions. One of these decisions was marrying the cousin of Angus McAlister the head gardener. This was because he demanded Freddie to be what he envisioned. Like a father he demanded his son to be prefect but did not do much if not nothing to change him, but the fact he was imperfect bothered him and made him grow a sense of dislike or hatred towards his son. But he later changed his mind as he had a conversation with the bride’s father. Yet, he agreed just to get his son doing something and to get him away from Lord Emsworth. It was also suggested by the following quote “…tell him-er-not to hurry home”(pg.131) that he hoped not to see his son’s face for quite a while. In literal he hated his son so much, he hoped Frederic not to come back home to bother him ever again.

In the other hand, Frederick Threepwood acknowledges what the father thinks about him, but alike his father he does nothing to change his attitude. He knows he is a trouble maker, useless to his father runs debts and so on. He just doesn’t care.

In fact, he didn’t really care about anything the father said, he would only inform him but not take his opinion in mind. He acted freely and broke several rules including not trespassing into London. He knew it would upset his father but not care. He obviously did not respect his father nor care about him.  

 

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ebiano | Student , Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted November 25, 2012 at 11:52 AM (Answer #3)

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hmm

 

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asimradhrani | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:12 PM (Answer #5)

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the relations were not good

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shiiina | Student , Undergraduate | Honors

Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM (Answer #6)

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they don't have good relation

 

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