Who Wrote “Arm Wrestling with My Father”?

6 June 2023

Who Wrote “Arm Wrestling with My Father”?
“Arm Wrestling with My Father” is a poignant and introspective essay written by Brad Manning. The essay explores the complex relationship between Manning and his father, particularly through the metaphor of arm wrestling, which serves as a vehicle for the author to reflect on themes of masculinity, power, and vulnerability.

The essay begins with Manning describing his childhood fascination with arm wrestling, a sport that he and his father often engaged in. However, as Manning grows older, he begins to see arm wrestling in a different light, recognizing it as a symbol of his fraught relationship with his father.

Throughout the essay, Manning delves into the emotional dynamics that underpin his relationship with his father. He describes his father as a stoic, emotionally distant figure, who rarely showed affection or vulnerability. This stoicism stood in stark contrast to Manning’s own emotional sensitivity, leading to tension and misunderstandings between the two.

As Manning reflects on his relationship with his father, he also explores broader themes of masculinity and power dynamics. He notes that arm wrestling is often seen as a way for men to assert their dominance and prove their masculinity, and suggests that this desire for power and control can be damaging to relationships.

Overall, “Arm Wrestling with My Father” is a deeply personal and insightful essay that offers a window into the complexities of family dynamics and the challenges of navigating relationships with fathers. Through his use of the arm wrestling metaphor and his introspective writing style, Manning offers a unique perspective on the emotional terrain of father-son relationships.