20 June 2018
The Importance of Family Ties
Throughout history, family has always been very important to people in many different aspects. In the essay “The Color of Family Ties: Race, Class, Gender, and Extended Family Involvement” by Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian, the authors assert that traditional nuclear families are not the only ones capable of supportive relationships and strong family connections. In the other hand, minority families also discover that their families illustrate the most supportive relationships and strongest family ties. According to Gestel and Sarkisian, they state “We often hear that Black Latino/a, especially Puerto Rican, families are more disorganized than White families, and that their family ties are weaker, because rates of non-marriage and single parenthood are higher among these minority groups” (45). While analyzing three different nontraditional minority families we see the difference between the functional and dysfunctional families in these texts. In “Looking for Work” by Gary Soto, Soto desires his family were more like families portrayed on television. In “Aunt Ida Pieces a Quilt” by Melvin Dixon illustrates how tight and secure the family bond within the family is by portraying the strong attraction and connection they acquire. In “An Indian Story” by Roger Jack, Jack demonstrates the difficulty of creating our own identity under the influence of traditional family values. The strongest example of supportive relationships and strong family ties from the three families stated is Gary Soto because
Although these conservative periodicals are claiming that… these stories prove otherwise that …
Gary Soto’s contemplation on his childhood endeavors of improving his working class family are amusing, yet display the inadequacy of the era family. In his “Looking for Work” Soto characterized a nine year old boy who is alluded to the kind of family life depicted on television and seems transparent and assembled. He viewed his family as chaotic, dysfunctional, and murky. He desires his family can be more like the ones on television. The narrator believes that if he worked he would be capable of to turn his family into the ideal family. However, by the end of the story, the meaning of labor has completely changed for the narrator. He realized that he can be genuinely happy with his life and family just the way it is. The provocative idea in the narrative is how the nine year old is drawn to some much complex situations such as “the perfect family.” Whereas most the children his age are inconsiderate about social status, Soto was exceedingly aware of how his family portrayed. Although Soto believes his family is portrayed as dysfunctional, the story depicts other wise. Soto describes a situation where, ” Soto and siblings ran home for my bike and when my sister… didn’t have the fifteen cents but only an empty Coke bottle. I waved for her to come and three of us mounted the bike– Debra on the cross bar, Little John on the handle bars and holding the Coke bottle which we would cash for a nickel and makeup the differences that would allow all of us to get in.” (22). Similarly, Soto describe another situation in which he states, “That evening at dinner we all sat down in our bathing suits to eat our beans, laughing and chewing loudly” (22). These two excerpt prove that Soto has a good relationship with his siblings and comes to show a strong family tie in between his siblings and him. His family may not be represented as wealthy but his family can enjoy one another’s company. In spite of the fact that, Soto’s family was demonstrated as a functional family, it was also revealed as dysfunctional. The author points out the little differences between the “comfortable lives of white kids” who “hopped into bed with kisses and woke to glasses of fresh juice, and to a father sitting before his morning coffee while the mother butered his toast” (22). Soto compares his family and envied the proper ceremonial dinner where everyone dressed up and the table included steak and mashed potatoes. This detail suggests Soto’s family is dysfunctional because it is missing a father figure like the traditional family we see otherwise. Soto does not realize it at the beginning but by the end of the story he understands that no family is perfect but that his family under certain circumstances is still a united family with strong emotional ties.
In “Aunt Ida Pieces a Quilt” Melvin Dixon illustrates how close and secure the family bond within the family is by portraying the strong attraction and connection the family has. Aunt Ida is the main character, she is the aunt of Francine. Francine has a son Junie, who dies from the autoimmune disease. Despite the fact that Junie dies, Francine and Aunt Ida discuss about Junie’s greatness in the poem.
In “An Indian Story” Roger Jack exemplifies