giver of values, such as they were

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the meaning of the phase " giver of values, such as they were", does it mean "my father gives me the moral principles and beliefs that he think are important, though the moral principles and beliefs seem imperfect"

the context is as follows:
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...I walked apprehensively to the apartment, taking quick looks over my shoulder. When he opened the door, I saw that his hair had turned a distinguished gray, and his electric blue shirt concealed the start of midriff bulge. This was my father, giver of values, such as they were. Yet I couldn’t deny my pride.
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source: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/how-a-gambling-addict-became-a-bookie/?_r=0
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Yes, I think you pretty much understand what the author of this essay is saying (and thank you for including the link; it was helpful to see the full story). Fathers are the traditional givers of values to sons, instructing them in what's right and wrong, and this writer realized that some of his father's characteristics, such as his weakness for gambling, were less than perfect.
     

    Irelia20150604

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you for your explanation and confirmation. I get a better understanding now. I know "Fathers are the traditional givers of values to sons" for the first time. (In China, both father and mother are the traditional givers of values to sons... the difference of the role of father and that of mother may be that fathers instruct sons in what's right and wrong in a relatively harsh way, but mothers in a relatively gracious way.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Well, that's true in the US, too, Irelia. That is, both fathers and mothers instruct both sons and daughters. But sons tend to identify more with their fathers, just because they're both male, and to see them as setting an example of behavior.
     
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