Going Places

by

A.R. Barton

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Sophie’s Father Character Analysis

Sophie’s father, who is not named, is the story’s antagonist. He works in some kind of manual labor, returning home each night dirty and sweaty and shoveling food into his mouth. He treats Sophie with disdain, chastising her for telling “wild stories” and dismissing her ambitions and desires. Through the reactions of his children (who all seem scared of him), the reader learns that he is an imposing figure with a drinking problem and a temper. Barton describes him in a rather unfavorable way, using words such as “grimy” and pointing out the fat rolls on his neck.

Sophie’s Father Quotes in Going Places

The Going Places quotes below are all either spoken by Sophie’s Father or refer to Sophie’s Father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the National Council of Education Research and Training edition of Going Places published in 2014.
Going Places Quotes

Their mother sighed.

Sophie watched her back stooped over the sink and wondered at the incongruity of the delicate bow which fastened her apron strings. The delicate-seeming bow and the crooked back. The evening had already blacked in the windows and the small room was steamy from the stove and cluttered with the heavy-breathing man in his vest at the table and the dirty washing piled up in the corner. Sophie felt a tightening in her throat.

Related Characters: Sophie, Sophie’s Father, Mother
Related Symbols: The Bow
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

Her father grimaced. “Where’d you hear that?”…He muttered something inaudible and dragged himself round in his chair. “This another of your wild stories?”… “One of these days you’re going to talk yourself into a load of trouble,” her father said aggressively.

Related Characters: Sophie’s Father (speaker), Sophie
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:

There was a wooden bench beneath a solitary elm where lovers sometimes came. She sat down to wait. It was the perfect place, she had always thought so, for a meeting of this kind. For those who wished not to be observed. She knew he would approve.

Related Characters: Sophie, Geoff, Sophie’s Father, Danny Casey
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Going Places LitChart as a printable PDF.
Going Places PDF

Sophie’s Father Character Timeline in Going Places

The timeline below shows where the character Sophie’s Father appears in Going Places. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Going Places
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
Class vs. Ambition Theme Icon
Limitations of Gender Roles Theme Icon
...like this, and she asks Sophie to “be sensible,” since shop work isn’t lucrative and Sophie’s father would never allow it. Sophie replies that maybe she will be an actress, since there’s... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
Family vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Class vs. Ambition Theme Icon
Limitations of Gender Roles Theme Icon
...home, Sophie announces that if she ever comes into money, she will buy a boutique. Her father replies that, if she had money, she would “buy us a blessed decent house to... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
Family vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Limitations of Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Danny Casey.” Geoff does not believe her, and then he asks if she has told their father . This upsets Sophie, because she wants Geoff to understand that he is “the first”... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
Family vs. Individuality Theme Icon
In the living room, Geoff tells their father about Sophie meeting Danny Casey. Their father turns his “thick neck” to look at Sophie... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
Family vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...of posters of Danny Casey, Sophie swears Geoff to secrecy about something, saying that their dad would “murder” her. Geoff protests that he would only murder Sophie if he believed her,... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
Family vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...with Danny Casey scoring the final goal. Sophie “glow[s] with pride” and Geoff is “ecstatic.” Their father goes to the pub to celebrate. (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality Theme Icon
Family vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Walking home, Sophie climbs “crumbling steps” and notices her dad’s bike propped against a wall by the pub. She’s glad that he won’t be there... (full context)