Nick's father

Outer characterisation

Nick’s father is a secondary character in the story “Braces” by Nick Werber . The story suggests that he lives in London with his wife and their two children – Nick and his sister.

There is little reference in the story to his outer characterisation – Nick mentions that his father wears driving glasses with yellow lenses because he thinks they make him look cool. This also contributes to his inner characterisation, as it shows that Nick’s father is concerned with his outer appearance and how he is perceived by others.

Another reference to his appearance also contributes to his inner characterisation. Nick portrays his father as passive when he witnesses an argument between him and his grandfather: “Dad’s leaning on his palm, creasing the skin around one eye.”. This suggests that Nick’s father feels dominated by his own father, as he just listens to him without reacting.

Relationship with his own father

When we first encounter Nick’s father, he is in the living room, watching the Grand Prix. Note that, although he notices Nick is pale, he does not ask him what is wrong. Instead, he asks his father if everything is OK: “ ‘Everything OK Pa?’ ”. This suggests that he is less concerned with Nick’s feelings and more with the results of the dental examination and that he still turns to his father for authority.

He then turns up the volume on the Grand Prix and becomes too mesmerised to hear Nick’s question about his grandfather being a boxer or notice being called to lunch. He is, however, enthusiastic about lunch – considering the fact that this is the only time when he shows enthusiasm, and the strained relationship with his father, it could be interpreted that he views lunch as the highlight of his visit.

At lunch, he tries to tell his father about a story that Nick wrote, but he is met with disinterest. Moreover, Nick’s grandfather believes it is more important for Nick to choose a profession. Nick’s father is described as upset at being cut off and that he is unwilling to contradict his father on this subject: “ ‘Right, of course,’ Dad days, his face looking like when he’s been cut up at the lights.”.

In general, the relationship between Nick’s father and grandfather is complica...

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