The Prince of Tides Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What kind of family does the Prologue portray?

The Prologue depicts the Wingos as a dysfunctional family. Henry Wingo is impatient and cruel towards his children, while Lila Wingo is cold and calculating.

2. How does the Prologue present the father of the Wingo children?

The Prologue presents Henry Wingo as cold and unsympathetic. He is pictured as not being understanding of his children's mistakes. For example, when Tom kills the eagle, Henry does not permit such behavior. This anecdote illustrates Henry Wingo's intolerance toward his children.

3. How would you describe Lila Wingo?

Lila Wingo is described as a beautiful contrast to her violent husband. Tom often resorts to recollecting how beautiful his mother is, but there is a manipulative and calculating side to his mother as well. Her character can best be epitomized by the black widow spiders mentioned in the story. Like the spider, she is fascinating to look upon--a beautiful woman indeed, but also like the spider, Lila manipulates her children in her web of lies that cover up unpleasant truths.

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