MY FATHER'S MASK

Joe's first collection.

Postby Snooky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:57 pm

This was a very creepy, bizarre story. At first, I thought the mom was just fun loving and liked creating games to entertain her son. It wasn't until she sank her finger nails into the back of Dad's neck and the zipper was pulled on his mouth that I had to re-think her motives. Flash forward to when the son was on his way to get fire wood and it seemed Dad wasn't allowed to talk to him and then putting his palm on the window as the son left...almost like a sign...or a goodbye.

What no one else has brought up is the fact that the son looked into the veiled mirror and actually saw a playing card person (the appraiser) next to his father! They we're real!

The possible meanings of this story are endless; but what really bothered me was how easy (almost like she expected it or it was planned) the mother was willing to leave her husband and then make it all seem quite normal to her son. I kept waiting for the mystery to be solved, but alas it will not.

P.S. The fat angel kid with narrow bloody teeth....creeepy
~If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a terrible warning.~
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Postby grasking on Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:28 pm

KingoftheHill wrote: I felt uncomfortable when he woke up to his naked dad in the mask. LOL, that was some great writing.



I wonder if that was based on a true story.
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Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:33 pm

You know...I can't help it...I still want to hear what Joe has to say about this story. I miss his "three things about..."
"We'll always have Paris."

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Postby LoganRaider on Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:27 pm

Same here, Betsy. He really needs to bring that back. I love when authors interact with their fans like that. The insight was really nice.
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Postby Florida on Wed May 21, 2008 2:58 pm

I took the story to be a kind of metaphor for that time in your young adulthood when you realize that your parents are sexual beings, that they have the same strange secrets that you think are all your own. We all grow up assuming that our parents are so lame and could never have the same social and personal attachments that we do. But they do and often times their adolescent experiences are much more unnerving than we could ever imagine. Not to mention that quiet almost conspiratorial relationship you have when you are married to someone that really gets you. It must be interesting to see that from the eyes of the child of that relationship.
All the odd, surreal things you see in your parents you will soon become.
our love lives because i live.
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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby sarahrose18 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:58 pm

Near the end when Jack looks into the veiled mirror he saw one of the playing card people behind his father rather than the actual appraiser, and also before when Jack looked into the mirror he says he saw a “featureless shadow sulking behind the black mask, someone I didn’t know.” The mirror is a means of looking into ones soul and seeing who they really are; a mirror into the self.
Also, When Jack is comfortable putting on his father's mask he says, "It's me." He is accepting the fact that his father is gone and he he will somehow take the place of his father. This reminded me or Freud’s Oedipus theory; the son being jealous of the father and wanting to be with the mother. It is like Jack became his father when putting on his father’s mask.
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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby sarahrose18 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:01 pm

Another thought I left out.
The card game that Jack played was a means of determining who's soul would be sacrificed to the card playing people. The "great hand" that Jack received determined his father would be sacrificed. When the boy is sitting on the lawn eating the dead rabbit with blood staining his teeth this is symbolic of the card playing people feasting on his father’s life.
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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby Betsy_Boo on Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:44 am

Interesting insight, sarah. I find this story so fascinating!
"We'll always have Paris."

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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby sarahrose18 on Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:22 am

I had to read it over and over to even comprehend what was going on in this story. I'm still not exactly sure, but those were some things i was able to pick out. Does the reference to Freud's Oedipus theory sound completely off the wall here?
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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby Betsy_Boo on Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:49 pm

sarahrose18 wrote:I had to read it over and over to even comprehend what was going on in this story. I'm still not exactly sure, but those were some things i was able to pick out. Does the reference to Freud's Oedipus theory sound completely off the wall here?


No SR...I can totally see the connection there. It just didn't occur to me. I suppose I'll have to re-read it again...I'm not getting so much that he wants a closer relationship with his mom, but I do get that he is willingly taking his father's place.
"We'll always have Paris."

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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby Betsy_Boo on Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:51 pm

I wonder...if it had been Jack's choice would he have rather given over his mom?
"We'll always have Paris."

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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby demorganakamark on Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:31 pm

I had been waiting to read alot of the stories in 20th century and during my honeymoon i finally went to town on his stories...after re-reading HEART SHAPED BOX.....and "MY FATHERS MASK" .damn, i felt kinda weird at the end..and i liked that feeling..but i have one question..after mary read the story...her opinion of the story was that the boy was playing cards with his parents in the woods....Now, i havent read the thread and this may have been mentioned before..but, since im kinda needing to put away all the crapola that in on the bed and mary giving me that " your on the internet again" look..ill just ask..:)
"That which exists without my knowledge exists without my consent."
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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby maddirai on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:34 pm

Please help. What is Joe's one in three? What . . . How . . . I cannot understand this story. It has touched me on levels I didn't know I had. I think about it continually and constantly. Could someone please give me some insight? Please.
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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby Betsy_Boo on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:49 pm

Hi maddirai! If you go to the beginning of this thread...page 1...you can read through all our theories. This one was tough for all of us. And I thought about it (and still do) a lot and I'm still not sure exactly what it means. For a while Joe was posting "Three Things About..." each story in the book, but the site crashed and took most of the posts with it. He had never gotten to "My Father's Mask" so we've all still got questions about it. My feeling is that this story is somewhat personal. Also, it seems more like a dream than a story if you know what I mean. Anyway, we all hope that Joe will start up his "Three Things About..." again.

Hey Mark...I think someone else mentioned that the two kids in the woods were his parents and somehow the result of the card game indicated that it would be his father who had to be sacrificed. That seemed to make sense to me, but honestly this one is wide open to interpretation. It's one of those stories you have to read several times, I think.
"We'll always have Paris."

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Re: MY FATHER'S MASK

Postby maddirai on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:59 pm

I finally read all of the threads and it looks like I am late. If there is still anyone out there . . . I thought mom was pregnant in the end since she patted her stomach, and why didn't they know the grandfather very well, and the mother i thought clearly was running the show but why? . . . and why card playing people? are they two dimentional? because of the symbols they referred to on the cards? and when he played cards with the parents (I think some reference to tarot) she said, "you really never knew us at all" which is true of many kids and their parents but . . . why forget dad and his sacrifice? did he know about the sacrifice and agree to the terms? where did all the money come from? is that the price of wealth? and seriously the masks have to play into it on a greater level than we just hide behind masks. especially the particular masks in the story have to mean something. why the clear plastic? why? why? why? how does it all fit with the devil want to be angel on the bicycle boy?
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