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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 445

Phillip sums up his family's feelings in regard to FDR and Lindbergh. He says,

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Lindbergh was the first famous living American whom I learned to hate -- just as President Roosevelt was the first famous living American whom I was taught to love -- and so his nomination by the Republicans to run against Roosevelt in 1940 assaulted, as nothing ever had before, that huge endowment of personal security that I had taken for granted as an American child of American parents in an American school in an American city in an America at peace with the world.

This moment, Lindbergh's presidential nomination, shakes both Phillip's faith in America as well as his security as an American. This moment, this realization that he and his family are not as secure as he believed them to be, is both frightening and incredibly easy to relate to. In an era where there is so much hate, and where it is possible for people to do such terrible damage to their neighbors, Phillip's language feels incredibly prescient. This is a major step in his maturation process, realizing that the safety that he once took for granted is no longer a guarantee.

Phillip recalls the first time he saw his father cry. He calls it "A childhood milestone, when another's tears are more unbearable than one's own." Herman, his father, had gone to Canada to visit Alvin, Phillip's cousin, who had gone off to fight in World War II and returned without one of his legs. Herman reports that Alvin looks like a corpse; he refuses to eat and seems to have no will to live. Phillip reports, "A new life began for me. I'd watched my father fall apart, and I would...

(The entire section contains 445 words.)

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