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. 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. 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 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 was raised in a nuclear type of family and I do not cause as much trouble as kids that come from non nuclear families.

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A curly-haired boy who wanted to run before he walked, age seven now, a soccer player scoring a winning goal. He turns to the bleachers with his fists in the air and a smile wide as a gap-toothed galaxy.

His own cheering section of grown-ups and kids all leap to their feet and hug each other, delirious with love for this boy. The cheering section includes his mother and her friends, his brother, his father and stepmother, a stepbrother and stepsister, and a grandparent. Lucky is the child with this many relatives on hand to hail a proud accomplishment.

But in spite of myself, defensive words take shape in my head. I am thinking: I dare anybody to call this a broken home. Families change, and remain the same. Why are our names for home so slow to catch up to the truth of where we live?

When I was a child, I had two parents who loved me without cease. One of them attended every excuse for attention I ever contrived, and the other made it to the ones with higher production values, like piano recitals and appendicitis.

So I was a lucky child too. I played with a set of paper dolls called "The Family of Dolls," four in number, who came with the factory-assigned names of Dad, Mom, Sis, and Junior. I think you know what they looked like, at least before I loved them to death and their heads fell off. Here at the tail end of our century, most of us are up to our ears in the noisy business of trying to support and love a thing called family.

Every parent has endured the arrogance of a child-unfriendly grump sitting in judgment, explaining what those kids of ours really need for example, "a good licking". That our children are at risk, and the whole arrangement is messy and embarrassing. The children of this family may have been born to a happy union, but now they are called the children of divorce. I had no idea how thoroughly these assumptions overlaid my culture until I went through divorce myself.

I wrote to a friend: "This might be worse than being widowed. I am lonely, grieving, and hard-pressed to take care of my household alone.

But instead of bringing casseroles, people are acting like I had a fit and broke up the family china. That it selfishly puts personal happiness ahead of family integrity. Now I tremble for my ignorance. I started out like any child, intent on being the Family of Dolls. I set upon young womanhood believing in most of the doctrines of my generation: I wore my skirts four inches above the knee.

I had that Barbie with her zebra-striped swimsuit and a figure unlike anything found in nature. Right that ends smack dab where you find him. I did not completely understand that another whole story begins there, and no fairy tale prepared me for the combination of bad luck and persistent hope that would interrupt my dream and lead me to other arrangements. Casseroles would help. Likewise, I imagine it must be a painful reckoning in adolescence or later on to realize true love will never look like the soft-focus fragrance ads because Prince Charming surprise!

Or vice versa. Even the legal terms we use have a suggestion of caprice. This is specious. Every happily married couple I know has loads of irreconcilable differences.

Negotiating where to set the thermostat is not the point. A nonfunctioning marriage is a slow asphyxiation.

It is sharing your airless house with the threat of suicide or other kinds of violence, while the ghost that whispers, "Leave here and destroy your children," has passed over every door and nailed it shut. Disassembling a marriage in these circumstances is as much fun as amputating your own gangrenous leg.

You do it, if you can, to save a life--or two, or more. I know of no one who really went looking to hoe the harder row, especially the daunting one of single parenthood. Yet it seems to be the most American of customs to blame the burdened for their destiny. In the wake of my divorce, some friends even a few close ones chose to vanish, rather than linger within striking distance of misfortune. And also, what not to say. How to explain, in a culture that venerates choice: two terrifying options are much worse than none at all.

Give me any day the quick hand of cruel fate that will leave me scarred but blameless. As it was, I kept thinking of that wicked third-grade joke in which some boy comes up behind you and grabs your ear, starts in with a prolonged tug, and asks, "Do you want this ear any longer? And generally, through all of it, you live. My favorite fictional character, Kate Vaiden in the novel by Reynolds Price , advises: "Strength just comes in one brand--you stand up at sunrise and meet what they send you and keep your hair combed.

Divorce, remarriage, single parenthood, gay parents, and blended families simply are. Add to all this our growing sense of entitlement to happiness and safety from abuse. Most would agree these are all good things. Yet their result--a culture in which serial monogamy and the consequent reshaping of families are the norm--gets diagnosed as "failing. Why is it surprising that a child would revel in a widened family and the right to feel at home in more than one house?

The child at risk is the one whose parents are too immature themselves to guide wisely; too diminished by poverty to nurture; too far from opportunity to offer hope. The number of children in the U. There are families among us that need help all right, and by no means are they new on the landscape. The rate at which teenage girls had babies in ninety-six per thousand was twice what it is now. That remarkable statistic is ignored by the religious right--probably because the teen birth rate was cut in half mainly by legalized abortion.

In fact, the policy gatekeepers who coined the phrase "family values" have steadfastly ignored the desperation of too-small families, and since have steadily reduced the amount of financial support available to a single parent.

The famous family comprised of Dad, Mom, Sis, and Junior living as an isolated economic unit is not built on historical bedrock. In The Way We Never Were, Stephanie Coontz writes, "Whenever people propose that we go back to the traditional family, I always suggest that they pick a ballpark date for the family they have in mind.

Coontz writes, "For every nineteenth-century middle-class family that protected its wife and child within the family circle, there was an Irish or German girl scrubbing floors In many cases they spent virtually every waking hour working in the company of other women--a companionable scenario in which it would be easier, I imagine, to tolerate an estranged or difficult spouse.

A family so large and varied would not easily be brought down by a single blow: it could absorb a death, long illness, an abandonment here or there, and any number of irreconcilable differences. The Family of Dolls came along midcentury as a great American experiment. A booming economy required a mobile labor force and demanded that women surrender jobs to returning soldiers.

Families came to be defined by a single breadwinner. They struck out for single-family homes at an earlier age than ever before, and in unprecedented numbers they raised children in urban isolation. The nuclear family was launched to sink or swim. More than a few sank. Social historians corroborate that the suburban family of the postwar economic boom, which we have recently selected as our definition of "traditional," was no panacea.

Twenty-five percent of Americans were poor in the mids, and as yet there were no food stamps. Sixty percent of the elderly lived on less than S1, a year, and most had no medical insurance. In the sequestered suburbs, alcoholism and sexual abuse of children were far more widespread than anyone imagined. Expectations soared, and the economy sagged. In the last three decades, that amorphous, adaptable structure we call "family" has been reshaped once more by economic tides.

Compared with fifties families, mothers are far more likely now to be employed. We are statistically more likely to divorce, and to live in blended families or other extranuclear arrangements.

We are also more likely to plan and space our children, and to rate our marriages as "happy. All in all, I would say that if "intact" in modern family-values jargon means living quietly desperate in the bell jar, then hip-hip-hooray for "broken.

If there is a normal for humans, at all, I expect it looks like two or three Families of Dolls, connected variously by kinship and passion, shuffled like cards and strewn over several shoeboxes.

The sooner we can let go the fairy tale of families functioning perfectly in isolation, the better we might embrace the relief of community. For single parents, this support is the rock-bottom definition of family. And most parents who have split apart, however painfully, still manage to maintain family continuity for their children, creating in many cases a boisterous phenomenon that Constance Ahrons in her book The Good Divorce calls the "binuclear family.

All those evil stepsisters? That story always seemed like too much cotton-picking fuss over clothes. A childhood tale that fascinated me more was the one called "Stone Soup," and the gist of it is this: Once upon a time, a pair of beleaguered soldiers straggled home to a village empty-handed, in a land ruined by war.

They were famished, but the villagers had so little they shouted evil words and slammed their doors. So the soldiers dragged out a big kettle, filled it with water, and put it on a fire to boil.

They rolled a clean round stone into the pot, while the villagers peered through their curtains in amazement. Any family is a big empty pot, save for what gets thrown in. Each stew turns out different.

Generosity, a resolve to turn bad luck into good, and respect for variety--these things will nourish a nation of children. Name-calling and suspicion will not. My soup contains a rock or two of hard times, and maybe yours does too. All rights reserved.


Analytical Response to Barbara Kingsolver’s “Stone Soup” Essay

Kingsolver has stated that substitute families have the right of same standing and status in our society as others have. It is about the specific types of marriages and about how it is acceptable for the families different from having typical outlines. The story of the essay starts with a child scoring a winning goal in a football game Barbara, The child is appreciated and praised by his mother, friend and the crowd. In addition, shows outrage on the criticism on the family by the society. Moreover, Kingsolver interprets that our society is quick and unfair on criticizing changing and reshaping families as failed and broken families.


Essay Barbara Kingsolver 's Stone Soup

One needs to read between the lines as well as re-read the lines and thoughts themselves. For Kingsolver, writing is a form of political engagement" Anon 1. This so-called "engagement" in this essay deals with trying to dispense with the narrow view of morality. The idea is that there are truly very few "perfect" families.


Argumentative Essay On “stone Soup” By “barbara Kingsolver”

The article makes the point that divorce is a failed marriage and that people who divorce take the lazy way out. Kingsolver also talks about how some friends will stand by you during divorce, while others leave. The article says that the friends that stand by you and comfort you while you are still hurting eventually have to stop and start treating you like your old self again. Then the article goes on to talk about multigenerational families living together. This article has a lot to say and I agree with most of it. I agree that most children will grow up dreaming, at one point or another, of having a perfect family, but they hardly do ever get it.



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