What is the basis for conversation between Farrington and his friends? What do these stories say about them and about their lives?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most of the conversation between Farrington and his friends seem to move into the realm of "drinking stories."  Farrington and his friends are more akin to "drinking buddies" that use anything for an excuse to drink away.  The conversation topics from Indian wrestling and outdoing one another, to the way in which workers stand up to their bosses, to which pub should be frequented next all revolve around alcohol.  

The friendship featured is not emotionally deep. Farrington and his friends use alcohol as a way to drown out their troubles from work and home. In a way, alcohol is also used to drown out one another's voice.  Farrington is not able to emotionally connect with his friends to find a way out of the seething anger that is a part of his being. As evidenced with how Farrington beats his son, it is evident that the friendships he shares with them are not helping him be happier in his life.  In fact, the feelings he feels afterwards when he has spent his money and is not even drunk reflects how there is emptiness in his friendship.  The superficial nature of the association reflects how his friends use one another for the means of drinking and little else. In this there is a sense that the basis for conversation between Farrington and his friends reveals another aspect where superficiality replaces authentic connection and where emotional depth in the hopes of finding transformative truth is absent.

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