Family Ties Essay

1069 words - 5 pages

The word “family” invokes many different emotions, on many different levels. Most of the time I think of the good times that I have had with my family. The reunions, vacations, holidays and just enjoying the company of my family. However, there are other sides of a family. It is naïve to think that you can spend so much time around family members, and not have disagreements, arguments, disputes, and sometimes even full-fledged physical altercations. On a similar level, sometimes personalities will conflict, making family members dislike each other. Sometimes people are just bad people, even if they are family, which are best left alone and avoided if at all possible.
The story Barn Burning ...view middle of the document...

She is the mother of two very different daughters. The youngest daughter Maggie is very shy and timid, due to a disfiguring childhood injury, which was caused by a house fire. Maggie is conditioned to assume a submissive role to her older sister Dee. She lives at home with her mother, and initially she appears to be dependent upon Mrs. Johnson for survival. The older daughter Dee, later known as Wangero, is malcontent with her family, and growing up she despised her social situation. She lorded over her mother and younger sister, treating them as if they were beneath her, and at the first opportunity to escape her hometown she leaves for the city.
The story is centered on a visit from the older sister. Mrs. Johnson starts to daydream about being the mother, which she imagines, her older daughter always wanted, a picturesque model of perfection, it is shortly after this daydream that her dislike for her older daughter Dee starts to become apparent. She describes each of her daughter’s character. She seems to be distrustful of Dee, annoyed at her self-righteousness, and she displays genuine dislike for her oldest daughter’s selfish nature. At the same time she shows concern and pity for Maggie.
When Dee arrives she immediately starts acting as if her mother and sister are quaint people who are ignorant of the world, and her perceived culture of their ancestors. When Dee starts to make demands of her mother to acquire heirlooms, which have been promised to Maggie, something snaps inside Mrs. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson abruptly informs her that she will not get her way. This offends Dee and she unceremoniously leaves. Mrs. Johnson and Maggie do not even try to stop her.
Much like the earlier story there is a lot of conflict in the Johnson family. However, the conflict never reaches a dangerous point. The characters simply choose to live separate lives independent of each other. This story is a good representation on how personality clashes inside a family unit can cause family members to distrust each other, to become annoyed with, and ultimately dislike or even hate each other. ...

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