In this dramatic story, a son deserts his family, including an aged father, to join the army. Broad gestures, theatrical poses, and striking facial expressions communicate variations of two primary emotions, agony and distress. The cursing father on the left reaches with outstretched hands to his departing son, while the female members of the family plead desperately. Even the baby clings anxiously to his brother's coattails. The son stretches out his arm as he advances toward the door, where his bemused companion observes the scene.