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The City
A coming-of-age tale of a jazz prodigy finding his way in 1960s New York City.
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What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

Created: 07/14/14

Replies: 8

Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Father Figures

Jonah has a mostly absentee father but has father figures in neighbor Mr. Yoshioka and his grandfather. How do these relationships shape him? How are their ways of relating to him similar? How different? What are the most important lessons and examples that each impart?

Have you had a father or mother figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lisa

Join Date: 06/13/14

Posts: 14

RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

Mr. Yoshioka taught Jonah that he was worthy of trust and respect. He never condescended to Jonah. They spoke man to man, and Jonah always appreciated being treated like that. It gave him the confidence to take care of business. And he was the man of the house, after all :)


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

My father was much like Mr. Yoshioka. He was respectful of me as a separate person, even as a young child.
Rarely was the time, except maybe in instances where I might endanger myself, did he step in and forcefully impose his will on me. As I grew older, I realized he actually guided me like a puppet, but because he listened to me and shared with me his own experiences along life's way and then allowed me to start making small decisions as a child first, then increasing my freedom gradually as I grew older, it allowed him to be there when I did make foolish mistakes along the way and pick me up, dust me off and give me to confidence to go forward again. Therefore, when I was the age to leave for college, I was quite confident (and rightly so) in my ability to face unknown situations with a good amount of reasoning ability. I had friends whose parents held them so closely, telling them what to do each step they made, that when they left for college they went wild! Sort of like keeping candy from a child and then expecting them to eat it in moderation when they finally had full bowls as an adult. I had learned lessons along the way, sometimes hard ones, but my parents were there to help at every turn. They NEVER said "I told you so." When I made a mistake, they simply said, "I know this is hard, I did something like this too when I was your age, but you can get through this" …. and then would offer some ideas about how to get me back on track. I guess because of that I never resented their authority but welcomed it. I knew they had "the power" as an adult and I was a child. But that power was always benevolent and nurturing. I have tried to do the same with my daughter and now that she has children, I think I did a good job because I see her parenting in the same way! I LOVED the character of Mr. Yoshioka in this book and held my breath many times fearing he would be killed by the evil forces.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 310

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RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

From Mr. Yoshioka, Jonah learns that adult men can be trusted and can be kind.


Posted Jul. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marciem

Join Date: 07/17/14

Posts: 5

RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

I think Janeh's response is very good, and reflective of my own experience.


Posted Jul. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

Jonah's grandfather was the most important father figure to Jonah because he was around all of his life, especially when was little. I think his grandfather, along with his grandmother and mother, were mostly responsible for helping Jonah turn into such a loving person. Mr. Yoshika was wonderful, but Jonah was only around him a relatively short time. Both of my parents were always around, and of course had a big impact on my life. My father was always intellectually open-minded (for the times), and I think that is one of the greatest gifts he gave me.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

Teddy Bledsoe, not only inspired his musical life but he taught him to honor and respect everyone. He also taught him to be aware of his surroundings and be cautious with his father.
Mr. Yoshioka exposed him to a different culture and the necessity for restraint and that "work is life and meaning".


Posted Jul. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
leew

Join Date: 07/18/13

Posts: 11

RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

Mr. Yoshioka was one of my favorite characters in the book. He was so kind and invested himself in Jonah's life life gently and unobtrusively. He showed Jonah that there was much more to the world than he could see in his neighborhood. He helped him to become a citizen of the world.


Posted Jul. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 77

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RE: What are the most important things Jonah learned from his father figures? Have you had a father (or mother) figure in your life that has shaped you? If so, how?

Jonah had wonderful father figures in his life. He learned about love and connection from these men. He learned that he was a loveable person and that he belonged.
I have, and am lucky to still have. a wonderful father. I have so many good memories of him. I remember when I was little helping him take care of his roses. We dug trenches around the roses then trenches in between the roses, then put the hose in the first rose and watched the water go through the whole trench. He fished, but did not like to cut up the fish, so we buried them under the roses. My dad did lots of things for his family that we know he did them because he loved us. There has never been another man in my life as great as my father. Some people have even said that he ruined me for marriage because I thought all men were as great as him and most aren't.


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