"'It was God did it you were there. You were his guardian angel'" (O'Connor, 351)
--The story is told in retrospect by a man recalling an incident from his boyhood. What does this removal in time do to the treatment of the material?--
As humans, we can easily recall big moments in our lives. Due to the fact that the story is told in terms of recalling a memory, this moment had to have some sort of significance to Larry. While becoming drunk at such a young age would be memorable, I doubt one would be able to remember it with such clarity years later. Because of this, there is an implied message that follows the ending of this story. The message can be decoded by thinking of the point of view in which this story is being told or by considering the final quote of the story. Both of these ways compliment each other and lead to basically the same answer. After reading the final quote, one assumes that the father in the story quits drinking after the drunken episode of Larry. The fact that the mother is grateful to Larry for getting drunk suggests something good came from it. By considering the point of view from which the story is told, the reader can almost instantaneously add a quote by the grown Larry at the end of the story that states, "And that was the day my father quit drinking". However, the way in which O'Connor decides to end his short story still leaves behind a sense of mystery as to whether or not the father quits alcohol for good or simply temporarily.