Despite David’s lack of interpersonal effectiveness, I think that he truly loves Lucy as his daughter and struggles with means to show her this affection. As his only child birthed to this Earth, Lucy is his only legacy left on this Earth a part of him that will live on past his death. David remarks that if Lucy is the only legacy he leaves behind, that he can be content with that and not ashamed of the things he has accomplished in this lifetime. However, he feels regret and sorrow for not being able to play a more proactive role in Lucy’s life. He apologizes “for being one to the two mortals assigned to usher you into the world and for not turning out to be a better guide” (pg. 79). This has been one of his first visits to her in a while and he seems distant, almost like a stranger with her and not a father, “I’d like to keep your friendship. Long visits don’t make for good friends” (pg. 65). As her father, one would think that he would not have to feel like he were imposing on his daughter. As the one who raised her, he should be able to stay with her in her adult life for as long as necessary through a trying tribulation. A relationship consisting of much distance emotionally and ineffective means of communication.
David shows the reader that he does love his daughter, but his ways of showing his love and unconventional and in some ways uncomfortable. Though he has not seen her in a while, “From the day his daughter was born, he has felt nothing but the most spontaneous, most unstinting love” (pg. 76). David will love and support his daughter until the day he dies, but he will not go about this love in a conventional manner. He begins to think of Lucy with her significant others, “he wonders how it is for Lucy with her lovers” (pg.76). It seems that this is his way of ensuring that she is leading a life of passion and compassion for herself and those she cares for, “has the fathered a woman of passion” (pg. 76). He only wants what is best for his daughter and wants her to lead a loving and happy life, “privately he wishes Lucy would find, or be found by, someone better” (pg.60). He doesn’t want Lucy to live a lonely life like the one he is currently living. He is regretful that between two wives and now an affair with a student, he could not show Lucy a more loving lifestyle. He is amazed though by Lucy’s lifestyle choices, “Curious that he and her mother, cityfolk, intellectuals, should have produced this throwback, this sturdy young settler” (pg. 61). Baffled by her comfort and contentness with animals, David wishes for more for his daughter but grows to understand and come to terms with her lifestyle.Though it is not the life he would have chosen, now that Lucy has laid her roots, he wants to support her and love her unconditionally.