Themes and Meanings

(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

There is no way for a reader of “Views of My Father Weeping” to tell whether anything described in the story has actually taken place. Nor can any reader tell anything objective about the father. What the reader does experience is the author’s subjective expression on a surrealistic plane of a son’s feelings about his father that are strong, but ambiguous. The son’s nightmare vision of the father’s continual weeping suggests that fathers can do nothing but weep and sons can do nothing to alleviate their weeping, though sons may feel compassion for fathers who weep. On the other hand, weeping fathers can get on the nerves of youthful sons (who are not yet fathers). Sons can desire their fathers dead and project visions of accidents that kill them. The sons themselves (because the visions are theirs) murder the fathers.

In this way, the two narrative lines of the story are joined. Lars Bang is a projection of the narrator, who kills the father whom the son desires dead. Lars Bang is a liar, as is the son who covers up his desire to rid himself of his father by projecting it into a dream context. Nothing the son can do, however, will rid him of the vision of the weeping father, and nothing the son can do will stop the passage of time from transforming the murderous son into a weeping father himself.