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October Sky

by Homer Hickam

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Discussion Topic

Homer's interactions with his father during and after the last rocket launch in "October Sky"

Summary:

During and after the last rocket launch in "October Sky," Homer's interactions with his father show a shift from tension to mutual respect. Initially, their relationship is strained due to differing aspirations. However, the successful launch leads to a moment of pride and reconciliation, highlighting their bond and his father's eventual support for Homer's dreams.

Expert Answers

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What did Homer's dad do during the last rocket launch in "October Sky", and why was it hard for him?

Homer's dad embracing his son and his dreams represented the final act that had proven Homer's validity.  Winning the Science Fair competition, meeting his inspiration, proving to everyone in the town that his dream had merit all seemed to be a distant second to his father attending the last rocket deployment, and detonating the rocket for flight.  As the rocket is in the air, Homer's father stands amazed at the sight and embraces his son in a manner that reflects a father's love and admiration for his son.  The reader gets the impression that for the first time, the father is able to feel and show appreciation for his son. This is something that had not been fully experienced until that moment.

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What did Homer say to his father after the last rocket landed in October Sky?

The whole launch was so exciting to Homer because his father had finally shown up to watch and take part in this thing that had consumed his life.  He had always felt like his father loved Jim more than him because he was so into the football thing and spent so much time and effort worrying over it.  So when he showed up and they got him to launch the last one, it was an incredible moment for Homer.

When the rocket landed, Homer's dad was excited but then was overcome by one of his coughing fits.  Homer puts his arm around him and says "You did really good Dad.  Nobody ever launched a better rocket than you."

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