Analysis of William Inge’s  “My Son Is a Splendid Driver”

William Inge’s “My Son is a Splendid Driver” is an autobiographical novel. This literary work discusses human values and different problems of human life. William Inge has demonstrated the variety and complexity of family relationships. It was extensively analyzed via the relations of brothers and sisters, relations of parents, attitude of father and mother towards their child and attitude of granny towards her deceased husband without whom she sees no reason to live.

The important family relationships issue raised in the novel is the relationships between parents and their grown-up children. It is shown how the situation which often happens in the life of family, namely when the mother is being afraid of being substituted by another woman, negatively impacts upon the atmosphere in the family and fate of children. When the mother is unwilling to let her son go, thinking of him as an infant and not a mature person, she is influencing the future of the young family in a very negative way. The author shows how this problem can be avoided by the participation of father in educating the child to prepare him for the future manhood and independent life.  

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The idea of family life as a complete integration of two hearts is showcased via an example of an old woman who lost her husband and sees no sense to live any longer. This example is very topical in the modern world with its non-persistent family values and propaganda of free love.

Another issue which the author raises in his novel “My Son is a Splendid Driver” is technical progress and progress of life of the human being. The idea which can be grasped from reading the novel is that technical progress impacts on human lives in significant ways, making us change our attitude toward each other and organization of our life.

The title of the book is metaphorical and driving means walking the road of life, which often has unexpected twists and turns. William Inge was successful in showing that our life is like a road – there are many other drivers on it and that there are many things happening on that road that can directly influence our lives. The destination is closely connected to the life goal of the hero, and if it is to be reached, no deviations should be taken from the selected course.

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Other interesting issues of family relationships include the religious affiliation of the young couple that has plans to get married and the problematics of succession. As for religious affiliation, it is being shown that it is necessary to choose a partner based on personal feelings, rather than religious beliefs. Also it is shown how the process of partition of property should be carried out in order to avoid unnecessary quarrels between brothers and sisters.

Overall, William Inge’s “My Son is a Splendid Driver” is a stellar manual for family life that raises many questions about family life and gives satisfying answers to them. It’s a great read for all people who want to avoid negative situations in the family life and get ready for the long road of their life that lies ahead.


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