Why does Ka's father throw the sculpture away in the story "The Book of the Dead"?

In "The Book of the Dead," Ka's father throws the sculpture away because it isn't a true representation of what he is as a person. Far from being a strong, dignified man as his daughter had always believed, he is in fact a violent, aggressive man, a torturer no less. In throwing away the sculpture, he is symbolically trying to submerge his scandalous past.

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The sculpture that Ka makes of her father represents how she sees him, a strong, dignified man who managed to maintain his integrity despite being imprisoned. In depicting him in such a way, Ka believes that she is capturing his essence.

In actual fact, though, Ka has not created a...

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The sculpture that Ka makes of her father represents how she sees him, a strong, dignified man who managed to maintain his integrity despite being imprisoned. In depicting him in such a way, Ka believes that she is capturing his essence.

In actual fact, though, Ka has not created a true image of her father. Far from being the man she always thought he was, it turns out that he was a torturer, not a prisoner, a brutal and aggressive man without much in the way of integrity.

The famous Haitian-American actress Gabrielle Fonteneau really likes the sculpture, as she sees it as presenting an ideal of fatherhood. But Ka's father does not come up to that ideal, not least because of all the many lies he's told his daughter over the years.

Despite his many shortcomings as a human being, Ka's father does at least recognize that his daughter's idealized sculpture of himself bears no resemblance to who he really is as a person. And so he steals it and throws it in a lake.

In doing so, he is symbolically trying to submerge his scandalous, violent past. And yet the truth still emerges, and Ka is forced to confront just what kind of a man her father really is.

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