22 Mar 2022


Analysis of Family Relations in Literature Works

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Academic level: College

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Family relations are an important social aspect not just in America but also all over the world. In many societies, issues related to families are crucial in portraying the societal wellness and levels of development of the involved people. As such, different scholars, authors and other literary experts have created different works trying to explain the role of family relations in societal development. In this context, the current paper will analyze “Looking for Work” by Gary Soto and a popular television program, Make Room for Daddy. The aim of this analysis, apart from highlighting the different types and levels of family relations, will look at how specific ethnic groups are perceived as regards to wealth distribution, equality and education levels. Indeed, family relations play an integral role the advancement of social beliefs that define different paper in various settings of society.

Family relations in “Looking for Work” by Gary Soto

In his story, Gary Soto gives a detailed experience of a Mexican family who reside in the United States. Through the narrator, Soto makes it clear that, a minority group, Mexicans, just like other minority groups in America; reside in unattractive suburbs of American cities, which are laden with complex daily challenges. In “Looking for Work”, it is clear that minority groups are so used to their daily challenges that they have come accustomed with them to an extent that they do not have any urge to pursue equality. The current section will analyze the experiences of the narrator that Soto uses in his story with an aim of seeking to understand how family relations influence the lifestyles that the other characters in the story. 

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From the narrator’s view, it is clear that parents have defined roles in the families. For instance, the narrator’s mother could be a single mother because the narrator fails to explain any role that his father plays in his life. The mother is obviously so hardworking because, without a husband, she manages to feed her children and that she is able to send them to school. Apparently, the narrator’s mother is a disciplinarian because the narrator quotes some instances where the mother gives him and his other siblings a beating when they deviate from the expected behavior. Apart from her strictness, it is also clear that the mother of the narrator is caring and protective of her children. Although living in a dangerous surburb that is defined by poverty and discrimination, she manages to keep her children safe from all the worldly dangers of their neighborhood.

In the context of the current paper, teachers play a vital role in family relations and the shaping up of responsible individuals in the society. Clearly, Miss Marino, the teacher in the story by Soto, is not a responsible teacher she is supposed to be. In fact, she, and other teachers that have a similar way of doing things, is responsible for the failings that the narrator’s society undergoes. From the story, it is clear that the teacher promotes the negatives that the families of minorities go through in their societies. The main role of teachers is to ensure that their students adopt intelligent ways of doing things and solving the issues in their societies. However, Miss Marino is not keen on helping them solve these issues. She does not help her bad students learn because she thinks that by setting up a sitting arrangement they will develop and be intelligent. Teachers should take their duties seriously if the issues that derail development in different societies are to be fully eradicated. 

Analyzing Soto’s Story from a Family Relations Context

The narrator’s family, although described as poor, they are significantly happy and united in facing their daily challenges. Clearly, the family unity is depicted in the introductory part where the narrator, who, after watching “Father Knows Best”, tries to imitate an uncomplicated family in the show by forcing his brother and sister to wear shoes while eating dinner. Even after trying this, the narrator is not able to convince his siblings to wear the shoes as he anticipated because they both mock him and take it as casually as they take most of his other advices. The narrator harbors an urge of amassing wealth and helping his family overcome the dire poverty that defines their neighborhood. 

The narrator picks his rake and gets out looking for a job in his ambition of getting wealthy that day. However, it is ironical that, although he anticipates being wealthy, cleaning up peoples’ lawns and flower gardens is the only job he could hope to get. Apparently, although he describes that there are some people in his neighborhood that defines as working class, the job he associates them with do not pass for what modernity knows as such. After failing to get work in the first home that he visits, he earns his first amount day after being sent to the shop by a nice neighbor who later pays him for this service. After working in another neighbor’s lawn, he is paid and together with his friend and sister, they go out swimming and come back dirty, as her mother points out, a revelation that the swimming pool in their estate could not be as safe as, probably, people could be swimming in dirty water. 

The family of the narrator in Soto’s story, together with most of the other households in their neighborhood, experience racism and hate from the whites, who are the majority, a situation that further complicates their family relations. In his bid to help their family get liked, the narrator tries to convince them to improve how they looked, probably by dressing better, but his sister rejects this idea “…they’ll never like us” (37). Apparently, most families in the narrator’s neighborhood feel this way about the treatment they receive from the whites. An objective analysis of how the narrator describes the whites, and given his apparent young age, it gives a reflection of the hate and mistrust that exists between the minority Mexican community and the whites. With this kind of hatred and a clear lack of any signs of improvement, the society in which the narrator lives points out to a dangerous time bomb that could explode any minute.

From the narrator’s perspective, the whites have better families than the Mexicans. He explains that during summer, he could spend his mornings watching white kids being treated to a far better lifestyle that he had ever experienced. For instance, he reports that, “…there were no beatings, no rifts in the family. They wore bright clothes; toys tumbled from their closets…” (36). From this summary, it is apparent that the narrator, despite his age, is aware that there are obvious differences in the family relations of whites, the major race in the United States where Soto’s story is set and Mexicans, the minority race of the narrator of Soto’s story. From the view of the narrator, it is evident that the family relations differences between whites and Mexicans stem out from the wealth differences that the two communities enjoy. Apparently, white have better family relations and their kids enjoy better lifestyles than the kids of Mexicans because of the wealth that their parents possess. From the ideas of his Story, Soto implies that the wealth differences between whites and minority groups in the United States could be the reason of the dysfunctional families in the neighborhoods where minority groups live.

The narrator in Soto’s story states that he went to St. John’s Catholic School where Miss Marino, their teacher, had a defined sitting arrangement of the good and bad students. The narrator states that he sat at the ‘stupids’ section, which Miss Marino specifically set for her perceived bad students. Apparently, most of those who sat in the ‘stupids’ section were students from minor communities. The narrator states that the teacher had arranged the sitting arrangement so that the bad students could become intelligent from sitting next to the good students. Clearly, the teacher fails to deliver here duties of helping students learn properly. A serious teacher could not expect students to improve just because they sat next to those that she perceived to be good students. Instead, the teacher should have applied proper strategies to ensure that all students learned at the same level and her clear discrimination against her bad students instilled the poor family relationships among the narrator’s community. Apparently, the lack of proper education could be the reason of the poor family relations in the society that Soto explains in his story. Therefore, to improve the way families relate, it is necessary that better education standards be attained to encourage the development of knowledgeable families as those of the whites in Soto’s story.

Analysis of the “Make Room for Daddy” Show

Make Room for Daddy is a television show that Danny Williams, a club entertainer, whose family experiences numerous misadventures. Williams tries hard to balance his role as a family man and an entertainer, a task that proves hard to manage. The family of Danny comprises of his wife, Margret, and their two children, Terry and Rusty. Although Williams’ family is not that rich, it is significantly happy and united most of the time. From the show, it is clear that every character plays a part that defines their roles in family relations. For instance, Williams takes the role of a father and a husband, a crucial role in the definition of a family. Williams’ family, which involves a wife and two children, gives a clear depiction of how American families are away the fiction setting. Apparently, the movie associates the father, the wife and the children with specific roles. In addition, the current section will analyze the various themes in the show that further define family relations as per the objectives of the current paper. 

As the head of the family in the television show, Williams works hard to provide for his family, both from a financial and a security perspective. From the show, Williams works as an entertainer in clubs to earn his living, which he uses to raise his family. Although not much detail is available regarding on the much he earns, it is clear that he is a hardworking entertainer who has to meet his duties in order to earn his family a comfortable lifestyle. Williams is clearly a responsible father and husband given the hardship, and discomfort he has to contend with as he tries to balance between his duties as a club entertainer and a family man. It is clear that Williams really strains as he tries to attain this balance and without the patience that he displays as a man, the clear warm relations in his family could otherwise not be possible. Effectively, Williams manages to raise a family that, despite the hardships and the tough job duties he has to deal with, remains happy and functional as a unit in American social settings.

From the show, both Williams and his wife are responsible parents who manage to raise happy and healthy kids. Margret, who is the wife of Williams, manages the role of a respectful wife and caring mother to their children. It is apparent that Margret understands that his husband does a difficult job thus; she has to be diligent and caring enough to let him work as hard as he required. Apparently, it is quite hard for her to keep doing her wifely and motherly duties in the face of a husband who is mostly tied to his job duties and rarely has time to care for his family. Margret is depicted as both a modern woman who is happy completing the traditional role of a woman in her household. Because of her patience, her family remains united and happy despite the many challenges that Williams faces as he completes his duties as a club entertainer. Unfortunately, Margret dies later in the show and Williams remarries as he seeks to maintain a happy family.

From the two works of literature discussed above, it is apparent that positive family relations have to be maintained for the good of not just the involved family but also the entire society. From Soto’s story, it is apparent that, for one to overcome the social strive, there must be effective family relations. Further, everybody has to fulfill their responsibilities if the aim of attaining working families is to be attained. The issues that Soto raises in his story, especially those that have to do with poverty and discrimination, can only be avoided if there are positive family relations. Additionally, the positive family relations ought to be complemented with other important social players, such as teachers, who will help instill knowledge and discipline among the people of the involved societies. From Making room for Daddy, it is apparent that there is a working family despite the lack of time for family issues that defines the job that Williams does as a club entertainer. Without an understanding wife and happy kids, Williams family could have been in shambles, a situations that could have changed the stakes as depicted in the show. The current paper concludes that family relations have to be positive at all times despite the challenges that are involved in their development. It is through this that social issues could be solved holistically so that safe and secure societies could be developed. 

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