At the end of the story, Mr. Fisher seems to have turned his back on Erik. In fact, Paul compares his father to "those friends who abandoned Erik, who now regretted ever getting involved in the...

At the end of the story, Mr. Fisher seems to have turned his back on Erik. In fact, Paul compares his father to "those friends who abandoned Erik, who now regretted ever getting involved in the first  place." Why do you think Mr. Fisher reacts this way? Do you think his response is appropriate?

Expert Answers
misstemple1261 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that Mr. Fisher reacts this way out of his own guilt. He realizes that he has been enabling a monster. He is only able to see this after the police and others are involved. Once the wider community sheds light on Erik’s wrongdoing, he can no longer ignore it and keep it a family secret. He can no longer deny it to himself and his family members. I’d also that he acts this way out of self-preservation. He sees that the community has turned its back against Erik, and he responds by doing the same. When the community celebrated Erik, Mr. Fisher did as well. Now that the community finds Erik deplorable, Mr. Fisher rejects him as well.

While Erik’s friends have the ability to turn their backs on Erik without acting immorally, I would argue that by turning his back on Erik, Mr. Fisher once again neglects his duties as a parent. Originally, Mr. Fisher neglects his parental duties by fixating on Erik’s football skills and completely ignoring his horrifically cruel actions. Mr. Fisher implicitly condones Erik’s attack on Paul (which partially blinds him!) as well as his other bullying behaviors. However, by turning his back on Erik, Mr. Fisher does not do his duty; he does not get Erik the help he needs. While it is easy to see Erik as a remorseless villain, it is also possible to see him as someone in need of adult intervention. He, like Paul, is still very young. By completely abandoning him, Mr. Fisher once again takes a “hands off” approach to Erik’s misbehavior.

Read the study guide:
Tangerine

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question