1. Why, do you think, does the father appear so helpless?
The father has been unable to understand what his son loves to do. He is not in a position to advise him as there is hardly any intimacy between them. They speak like strangers, otherwise there is silence around them. The son has his own dreams and plans which he does not appreciate.
2. How can you infer that the father wishes his son to remain at home with him?
The father finds the son’s interests quite different. He is home bound, whereas the son is on the look out for fresh avenues. He aspires for a world of his own. The father wants him to return home even if he undergoes losses by his extravagant ventures. He is willing to make up with him if he agrees to live with him.
3. What sort of father-son relationship has been depicted in the poem 'father to Son'?
The poem depicts a father-son relationship which exists in name only. The two have been living together in the same house for years. Even the father does not understand his son. He confess that he knows nothing of his son. The bond of affection between them lie broken. They have become formal just like strangers. Although the son resembles his father physically, yet he had his own vision, dreams and aspiration. He is not home bound and is not afraid to venture forth. The protective father is willing to forgive him for incurring loss of material wealth provided he returns home. The painful experience of lack of communication fills the father with utter helpless, anger and grief. His efforts to restore the relationship fail as there is no response from the other side.
4. How far has the poet succeeded in transforming a purely personal matter to a universal experience prevalent in modern times?
The poem begins on an autobiographical note. The speaker i.e., the father recounts his own experience. He talks about the non-functional father-son relationship. He neither understands his son nor knows anything about him. In spite of living in the same house, the distance between father and son has increased. There is lack of communication between them. They either talk like strangers or silence surrounds them. The father is unable to share what the son prefers to do. The distance has reached to sorrowful limit. Even then the father is willing to shape a new love and build up a fresh relationship. His grief takes the form of anger and they fail to reach any compromise.
This maladjustment or growing break-up of relationships is typical of the modern materialistic age.
5. '...... we must live on the same globe and the same land'. Explain the significance of these lines.
The father wants to convince his estranged son. Inspite of their deep differences, they must live on the same globe. They will have to live in the same world. Living together in the same world, it becomes necessary that they should develop mutual understanding. They should build up a relationship between them.
6. 'Father to son' doesn't talk of an exclusive personal experience only but it has a fairly universal appeal. Justify this statement.
In the poem the poet does talk of an exclusive personal experience. He talks about the deep differences that separate both of them. But the poem does have a universal appeal. The father and the son represent the generation gap that separates every father and every son in every family.