sketch the character of the old man.
The old man is a depressing character, symbolic of the tree near the home. The tree has little to no life in it. The old man asks the boy what the tree is like, the young boy replies, “A silly old man”. Thereon, the man explains his relationship with the tree, “I saw it a year ago, stripped bare as now, so I chose a better trade. A saw it fifty years ago before the thunderbolt had riven it, green leans, ripe leaves, leaves thick as butter, fat, greasy”. This is the reader’s first indication of the empire of this family, which once existed in this home. Now, the only family member living has little life left to himself, still in close relationship to the home but no life exists any longer. ‘The thunderbolt has riven it’ is in reference to his father, who had destroyed the old man’s life. The father acts as a terrible storm that came and ruined everything in its sight.