Their are three main characters in this story. The father, the mother, and the narrator. The stories about a family dealing with a large problem in the U.S, alcohol. The father is a big alcohol abuser and no matter what the mother does to change it, he wont stop. The narrator explains how living with an alcohol father ruined his childhood. The theme played in the story is overcoming adversity. As the narrator got older, he learned to deal with his father better and cut him off. He was able to move on with his life. By reading "Under the Influence", you can analyze by using the character relationships, and the secrets the characters tried to hide. The mothers reaction to the fathers drinking was always pretty harsh. She would use the children as her spies to see if the father was lying about his drinking. I recommend this story for anyone who can relate to any sort of family problem. They are not alone in the world, and their are so many people out their with the same problem and that can relate.