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Children are invariably punished for one thing or another, and the speaker admits to despising some of the discipline imposed on him. His resentment is perfectly natural. The problem is that very often as people get older they do not leave their resentment behind unless they face it, overcome it, or become reconciled to it. Without that, growth is impossible. The last two stanzas speak of reconciliation. The joy of shared experience, which survives in him even to the present time, is described in lines 15-17, and the final reconciliation, together with the speaker’s connection with his own sons, is described in lines 17–24. The speaker mentions the “final hours” to suggest that there is a reality that transcends the ordinary, everyday reality of growing up and of being disciplined. Therefore his own experience with his father has been essential in the development of his relationships with his sons.
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