Baylor College Medical School

In the Egg by Sherwood Anderson, what is the son's conflict?

In the story "The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson, I was wondering what's the family's conflict on the chicken farm? What happens to the father?


Review this except from the story. The narrator is gently poking fun at the situation. He
has no idea why the family wouldn’t part with the baby carriage—an item that was no
longer useful. He is recognizing that his parents are grasping at straws. Their efforts are
futile and useless, much like hanging on to a baby carriage that no one uses. [new
screen] In this example, the narrator mentions his father clinging to this box of chicken
grotesques because it is sad, yet funny, that his father is clutching a box full of deformity
and death. Again, it is pathetically funny, and the narrator sees the dark humor of
hugging failure so tightly. [new screen] Here we see the narrator has come to realize, as
a child, that he shouldn’t be too happy and carefree, but he does find quite a lot of the
situation humorous. He is poking fun at himself and his childhood realization that death
surrounds his family. [new screen] Here we see that it is funny that the narrator refers to
happiness as “infection,” and it’s similarly funny that he tries to engage the cat—who
can’t possibly return his smile—in his happy mood. These examples show how the narrator doesn’t just tell a sad story. Instead, there is a twist of humor in his tale.


How does this passage from my workbook page tell you about the narrator and his father's conflicts with the chicken farm?

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Last updated by John A #396551
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Well Tatiana, based on your description, the family's conflict is the father, because the father has married a country school teacher and then the boy was born and the father had sold his horse and his farm and then started a new farm: The Chicken Farm. So its mainly the father.


"The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson