Since antiquity writers have been fascinated by the pathos, tragedy, and the comedy of the “generation gap.” Sophocles tells the pathetic story of Oedipus, who murdered his father. In the Clouds Aristophanes focuses his humor on the permissive Athenian father beaten by his ungrateful son, who has been trained too well in Sophistry. In the Hildebrandslied father and son are pitted against each other in battle. In modern times Mark Twain has summarized the generation gap wittily and succinctly: “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” Almost a century ago Theodor Storm was also absorbed by the generation gap, in particular the father-son conflict.



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