What was Homer's dadhoping that Homer would want to be after seeing the mine?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simply put, Homer's dad wants Homer to work in the mine.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The most prevalent is that Homer's dad feels a certain amount of pride in his work at the mine and in what it represents.  To transmit that to his son is of vital importance.  Additionally, it reflects how Homer is going to follow tradition.  Boys in Coalwood really have two options:  Go to college on a football scholarship, such as Jim to University of West Virginia, or work in the local coal mine.  Homer's father is happy that his older son will follow the first path, and can only hope that Homer follows the second.  Finally, I think that Homer's dad hopes that he follow in his own footsteps because he does not understand Homer's dreams of rocket flight.  There is a barrier that exists between the father's embrace of his son's dreams simply because he does not understand them.  He very well might not understand the presence of dreams that lie outside the preordained social conditions, but John simply might not understand Homer's dreams, in a general sense.