Friday, July 6, 2007

Summary and Response to “Stone Soup”

The article “Stone Soup” by Barbara Kingsolver is about the certain types of marriages and how it is okay for families to be different then the outline of the “Dad, Mom, Sis, Junior.” She starts the article by showing an example of a non-nuclear family at a soccer game cheering on a member of the family that has just scored a winning goal and she states “ I dare anybody to call this a broken home.” implying that even though they are not a common structured family, they still care about each other. Then she goes into detail on how she was raised in a nuclear family but now realizes that even though she is a single parent, her and her daughter are fine. Then she explains how people think that if a family is not nuclear, it is a mess of a family and if the marriage ends in a divorce it’s not labeled as finished, it is labeled as a failure. She states that she used to believe in this ideology of divorce being the lazy way out and as a child , she wanted to be part of a “Family of Dolls” but soon realized after she got married that there is a story that did not fall into her prince charming fairy tale which lead to a dead marriage. Kingsolver then relives the time right after she got divorced and how American customs claim that she was burdened with the task of single parenthood and some of her friends emphasized that by leaving her in her time of need. Then after she recovered she felt like her and her daughter was pitied but her daughter always looked on the bright side of having parents that don’t talk to each other. Kingsolver then goes back to family structures and states that to judge a family by its harmony is like judging a book by its cover . She goes back in time to show how nuclear families struggled to survive and how most of the family members had to work just to get by. Kingsolver goes to into detail about families during the Great Depression and explains that families where multigenerational due to lack of money for housing, She writes about how the “Family of Dolls” theory was introduced once the economy rose to make sure women gave their jobs to returning soldiers and single parent families sank and struggled economically. She states that families are always being reshaped due to economic tides and how single mothers are more likely to be employed now rather than in the fifties and are able to get a divorce and able to support a family in order to be “happy”. Kingsolver concludes the article by saying the faster we can get over the fairy tale nuclear family, the faster we can create an idea of community.
I didn’t like this essay at all because I believe that a family should have two parents and it is vital for the children to have two role models so they become successful in life. I was raised in a nuclear type of family and I do not cause as much trouble as kids that come from non nuclear families. This article was also jumpy. She kept jumping to different topics and It was hard to concentrate on the actual main topic. It was also hard to concentrate because she used a lot of vocabulary that I have never heard in my life before.
I considering actually buying a dictionary like you said. I did like the part near the end were she explained why Kingsolver named her title “Stone Soup”. It was puzzling me why the title made no sense when I started to read the article.

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