Blacky’s relationship with his father is integral in moulding the adolescent that he is. Although the relationship between the two is clearly negative, it somewhat helps him to look past the fatherly influences, and to seek positive role models to assist him through the journey to maturity. Blacky’s self-esteem levels are low due to the negative relationship and he expects no support from his father. His relationship with his mother, the relationships he develops with other men assist Blacky in developing the courage to stand up for what he believes in.
During the course of the novel of ‘Deadly Unna?’ the readers are exposed to the negativity between the father and his son. This affects Blacky in way that his self-esteem is almost non-existent, and the negativity is prominent throughout the novel. Examples of the neglect shown by his father are that of the time when Bob refers to Blacky as a ‘gutless wonder’, and the journey we take through the story of Blacky’s deteriorating respect for him. The ‘gutless wonder’ incident was a influential part of the novel, as Blacky realises that his Dad isn’t one to take advice of someone he feels is inferior than him, thus saying, ‘My own son, a gutless wonder. A gutless fucking wonder!’ When Blacky explains to his father about the storm, Bob insults him rather than swallow his pride and takes his son’s advice on board. The relationship that is shared between Blacky and his father has negatively impacted Blacky’s self-esteem so much that it has led to him not having faith in his own father and to expect no support.
During the novel, the desertion that Bob shows toward his son leads Blacky to be more independent, and he learns to expect no support from his father, as he cannot rely on Bob to look after him. The grand final, and Dumby Red’s funeral are examples of when Gary seeks his father’s input, whether it be wanting his father’s presence, or advice and guidance. Throughout the novel, Blacky learns...