If a man wanted to marry and have a family, he had to leave alcohol

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
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Mee_maw
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Re: If a man wanted to marry and have a family, he had to leave alcohol

Post by Mee_maw »

If a person struggles with alcoholism, I think they are better off dealing with it before they start a family. Not to say that alcoholics don't deserve spouses or children, but just to make things easier for themselves and their loved ones, kicking the drinking habit is the right thing to do.
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Emmrald
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Post by Emmrald »

I really subscribe to the motion that a man should leave alcohol before he get married.
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Dlbolinger68
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Post by Dlbolinger68 »

Duke was speaking of his personal observations and experiences. Using them to make a point about Gary's predicament. By stating it this way he caused Gary to come to his own conclusions.
Kajori50
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Post by Kajori50 »

I believe it was a little of both. Somewhere Duke blamed his alcoholic habits for a lack of family. Nevertheless, alcoholism is not conducive to a good family life. It clouds people's judgements and make them say or do things they normally wouldn't. Hence, as per me, Duke's statement alludes to both.
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PeaceLoveNature44
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Post by PeaceLoveNature44 »

If your an alcoholic, just like another drug of choice, you will be mainly focused on that. When, how, you can get it. You won't be able to focus on family, and may even act out towards family. Especially if you can not get your alcohol, and that will lead to worse things. I think he was warning him, but it is him blaming the alcohol too.
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Post by Cher432 »

I think that he meant that alcohol can be a mistress. It can take over your life to the detriment of your family, so i think he was warning him not to let it take over.
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Post by Shrabastee »

My guess would be that Duke told this to Gary based on his own experiences. Although never shown in the book, along the journey, there could have been one or more points where Duke probably wanted to settle, but knew himself incapable of supporting a family. Or worse, he knew no woman will be capable to tolerate his addictions. He didn’t want the same thing to happen to Gary and hence the warning?
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Post by SpencerVo »

Alcohol is a destructive force on one's personal life, and it can even wreak more havoc when he decides to marry. I agree with Duke's statement, but I am curious about how he came to that conclusion: is it merely an observation or from his personal experience?
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
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Zora C Penter
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Post by Zora C Penter »

I think it was a measure of both. However, I do feel that if it was true remorse, it was fleeting. Because Duke does seem happy, or at least content, with where he ended up. He sees the circus, including the pitfalls of circus life, as family and as home.
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Post by daviddawud »

I think the author appeared to be straightforward here. He was just saying his mind at that point in time. Taking liquor can be a risky and troublesome issue to stop totally once someone start.
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Hiruni Bhagya 81
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Post by Hiruni Bhagya 81 »

He may have blamed his alcoholism and drug addiction for his lack of a family. But he actually cares for Gary and we can guess he's warning Gary to be a better person than himself.
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Post by supernatural143 »

It was out of concern that Duke warned Gary to leave alcohol - if he wants a healthy family. Some people would say alcohol is not bad for a man's well-being. It's consuming more than the body and sanity could take that makes it bad for the health. "Drink moderately."
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Post by Scrawling Pen »

I think Duke was trying to convey the true consequences of alcoholism. He knew the destructive path that an alcoholic heads down. It is not a condition that one can have while holding together a family.
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Post by WardahEbrahim »

I think there was a little bit of toxic self-soothing, by blaming the alcohol. But also wisdom, because it is truth, a truth that he had dealt with - it was also genuine advice.
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Post by PRECIOUSreads »

I believe he was warning Gary of the dangers of alcohol. But I also believe he had to go through some of what he spoke of in order to speak so passionately on it.
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