Posed to reflect upon the three units of study this semester, consisting of Poetry, Drama, and Fiction to ascertain which genre is the most significant in influencing me, I am perplexed to choose only one. Remarkably, I found in each of the genres explored insightful and supportive content from each unit that has enabled me to hone in and accept my humanity as a parent. Connecting with characters from each genre brought about a significant awareness and sensitivity. Regardless of geographical location, date in time, structure of society, gender, race, or age, it is refreshingly evident in the midst of all the contrasts there is a commonality; we are all imperfect humans. Each genre enhanced my credence of making mistakes as we go through this journey of life, it is clear we struggle not only as humans but more significantly, for this reader, as parents. Parents attempt do what is felt to be right for their children with well-meant intentions. Unfortunately, this sometimes becomes more of a learning process for the parents involving mistakes for which we need forgiveness. At times greater mercy is required when our flawed human nature is revealed by our mistaken repetition of the mistake, which can create a greater burden adding regret. I find myself sympathetically identifying with these characters, as they too walk the bumpy road of when your best isn’t good enough. Frequently while reading I found myself thinking or muttering “I am not alone!” or “It isn’t just me!” this in itself was therapeutic.
In Alice Walker’s short story, Everyday Use, Mama, a black woman living in the south,
has two daughters. The youngest, Maggie, still lives at home while, Dee, the oldest never returned after going off to college. As the two await Dee’s visit, Mama daydreams of an encounter with Dee on a television show. This encounter made me chuckle seeing the similarities in Dee and my oldest daughter as Mama stated, “…I am the way my daughter would want me to be…” (Walker 5). I wonder if it is the age that allows children to have such embarrassment toward their parent (s). On another reflection, Mama recalls a letter written by Dee saying she would visit them where they lived but tells Maggie, “…she will never bring her friends...” (Walker 14). It is ironic, I recall hearing the same words from my daughter, Kianna, when we moved. Similarly, I could sympathize with Mama having two daughters that are complete opposites and feeling a torn heart knowing how each daughter feels for the other. I hope I will be as strong as Mama when the day comes for me to side with the daughter that is right.
In Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, Willy and Linda Loman are white middle class parents. I could feel pity for Willy trying to do his best to be a dad to his boys knowing that he had little to no role model. However, it is Linda that I could identify with as she seemed to play mediator between Willy and the grown children, a frequent task I have...