“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us”. (Joseph Campbell). An individual may believe their insight on decisions are always correct, but that is an arrogant belief. In the story of the “The First Born Son” by Ernest Buckler, Martin has a desire to have his son David take over the farm. In contrast, David hates his father’s farm and has the intent to live in the city. Furthermore, David feels like life on the farm is exhausting and Martin does not. Due to the difference in desires, Martin has trouble adapting to David’s eagerness to live in the city and finds it challenging to support him. In “The First Born Son”, readers should learn that an individual’s selfishness can hinder their ability to adapt to situations where they are confronted with a choice to make. When an individual refuses to be considerate of others, it can create a dilemma for themselves and those affected.
Refusing to be mindful of others not only produces a difficult situation for those involved, it can ruin relationships. Early in the story, David expresses a dislike for his father’s farm while working in the field. His audacious tone when talking to his father about the farm, and his thoughts that the city “Has something to keep alive for” suggests to the idea that David has the ambition to live in the city. Martin remembers that he never felt bothered with the farm work and does not understand David’s frustration for not meeting his father’s expectations. The result of this frustration is that David feels isolated from his father and dislikes the farm work. Martin’s selfishness and trouble adapting to David’s situation becomes evident when he thinks “He no longer has a son. Martin’s joy would be to have his son take over the farm for him. David’s aspiration to move to the city takes away his joy and makes him unhappy. Martin’s persistent repetition that “He has no son increases his unhappiness as a result of David possibly leaving the farm.This realization has a negative consequence of Martin being unable to adapt correctly to David’s choice. This drives a gap between them in their relationship which increases in magnitude due to Martin attempting to force David to adapt to life on the farm. As Martin fails to adapt well to David’s ambitions, he is overcome with anger. Going as far as telling him he won’t amount to anything more than his father. Martin’s selfishness and attempts to force David to adapt to farm life creates a difficult situation for them both and creates a conflict between them.
In addition to Martin’s selfishness, David’s inconsideration for his father’s feelings makes him selfish as well. David’s audaciousness towards the farm and his father becomes obvious when he communicates to his father that he is “so damn sick of this place” and asks his father “what future is there for anyone here”. In contrast to his father, David sees the city as a place of “lights and laughter” where he can experience something new everyday. To David, his father’s farm is like an enclosure where he feels caged in. David shows his father how much he despises the farm by asking him what he ever amounted to. David feels like he is in a difficult choice because his goal is conflicting with his father’s which is starting to drive them apart. This causes him to feel bitter about the farm and his father. After this continuous conflict, Martin and David eventually start to consider each other’s emotions and begin to develop guilt.
In “The First Born Son”, readers should learn that selfishness hinders the ability to adapt to situations when an individual is confronted with a crucial decision to make. The trouble of Martin and David trying to adapt came from them both being inconsiderate and selfish. This problem got even worse due to their differing views on the city and the farm. David is pressured to stay on the farm while he aspires to move to the city. Martin has trouble understanding David’s goal to live in the city and does not support him. When an individual realizes their selfishness and inconsiderateness is preventing them from adapting, it is only then that they can adapt well to the situation before them.