In Dreams from My Father, when his father visits him, how does the real man compare to the figure of his imagination?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As already indicated, the vision of what was in the mind could not match what reality offered.  The narrative reflects how the vision of his father's reappearance held out a great deal of hope at the start, but then over the month visit, the anticipation wore off.  I think that there was a challenge about the father's visit for a month.  The narrative reveals that there was a great struggle between the role in which the father resumed when he returned and the structure already established by the mother and her parents.  In particular, the revolved around watching television one night around Christmas.  When the child Obama wanted to watch "The Grinch that Stole Christmas," and the father responded that he had watched too much television, while the mother and her parents had disagreed, it set off not only a heated argument, but the young child's second disillusionment with his father.  The first moment was when he disappeared, and this one was when he appeared again and did not heed the words of his son.  In the end, this moment catapulted the child to wish his father would leave, confirming that the real man did not compare favorably to the figure in his imagination.