Charlie's father is clearly a man beaten down by life. He can-not protect his son from his wife. He has no influence in his house-hold. And even when he fulfills his dream of owning a barbershop, we sense an emptiness in him. How much does his abandonment of his only son and subsequent abandonment of his wife and daughter have to do with his joyless existence? It's significant that, although Matt apparently accepted Charlie for who he was as a boy, he does not recognize him as a man and suspects him of wrongdoing, much as his wife had suspected the younger Charlie in his innocence. Although Matt felt comfortable enough with his brother Herman to leave Charlie with him, it does not appear that he had any other contact with Herman or Charlie since that time, indicating either supreme indifference or a severe trauma.