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An Armadillo that Created the Perfect Father

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Introduction

An Armadillo that Created the Perfect Father Dan Needham is a very important character for the development of John Irving's novel especially for one of the book's theme. Tabitha John's mother met Dan for the first time in the good old Boston and Maine (Irving 40). Harriet Wheelwright, Tabitha's mother informs the reader about the origin of the Needham family referring to it as a traditional name that could be traced back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Irving 43). Dan Needham studied in Harvard and he worked as a drama teacher and a theater director in the Gravesend Academy (Irving 43). From the first time Tabitha's family especially John heard about the existence of Dan he knew he was special. John refers to him in this way because he had seen many of his mothers "dates" before, but he had never seen her mother referring to somebody so openly, telling them she liked him and that she wanted the family to meet him (Irving 45). ...read more.

Middle

Dan Needham was a excellent person to Tabitha he was caring and finally make her life pleasurable. Also, he plays a caring and loving character who at all times especially after Tabitha's death he takes care of John and plays role of the Father he never had and raises John as the son he never had. Dan became as an example for John to follow, an example of a person with a strong and decisive character that takes care of others. "She didn't want children, she wanted me; she didn't want me in her life, she wanted a man, the right man, and shortly before she died, she found him (Irving 39)" It is important to mention that Dan is the opposite of Johns real father Reverend Louis Merrill who never really marked John life in a significant way. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Dan Needham informed me that this was precisely what Owen felt he had done to me, and to himself: that we were both maimed and mutilated by what had happened to us (Irving 85)." Through the book Dan Needham acquires more and more importance in the novel, in the end he had already become into one of the principle characters in the book. His participation was so decisive while John grows up that after Owen's death and the discovery of which his real father is John mentions frequently that Dan is the best father someone could have, that he is even better than his true father. "I love Dan Needham, and I know I love him because I worry about him (Irving 571)." Especially in the last chapter we see the continuous expression of thankfulness and love that John mentions to Dan Needham (Irving 550). Maria Jose Valenzuela September 25/2002 Period 3 ...read more.

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