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The Disintegration Of The Family In The Novel, The Last Song By Nicholas Sparks

1468 words - 6 pages

It was once said that the family is the cornerstone of American society, and the foundation of our freedom. Families satisfy the human desire to belong, and help to promote those values we cherish most. Yet with each passing year, more American families are becoming subject to tragedies such as divorce, neglect, and estrangement. In his novel The Last Song, author Nicholas Sparks depicts the lives of three young people whose families are all being torn apart by one of these things. Many of the negative consequences that these teens face as a result of their family climates are reflected in the hot-topic issues that face our society today, including crime, violence, poor academic achievement, ...view middle of the document...

It may be that his example of avoidance of pain is what leads Ronnie to hate the idea of being near her father so much. I think his abandonment of her is Ronnie’s greatest source of pain in her life, whether she will admit it or not, so she is trying to shut him out. As a result of this, Ronnie refuses to play the piano or even speak to her father for three years, decisions which keep her family from healing at all and her from developing her talents as a pianist. The profound effect that her parents’ divorce had on Ronnie’s opportunities, behaviors, and emotional health as well as on her family, is sadly all too common in our society, where marriage is often viewed as nothing but a lighthearted pastime.
Blaze is a local girl who Ronnie meets her first day in town and immediately identifies with because Blaze has a very distant relationship with her parents. Blaze’s mom and dad work obsessively, and they hardly ever see each other. In our fast-paced modern world, it is not uncommon or necessarily wrong for people to “overwork,” but the effect that it is having on children is disturbing. Research shows that kids with both parents working full time are more likely to struggle in school, become unemployed, and suffer from mental stress; in fact, the effects were similar to those of kids who grew up in a single-parent family. Blaze herself is unemployed, and is forced to rely on the limited cash her parents occasionally leave her. She is also starved for love and attention, which ultimately lands her in an abusive relationship that she can’t escape. Similarly, kids of parents who are simply “too busy” may turn to outside sources to fill their void, and these sources are not always the healthiest. I think that too many parents are overwhelmed and distracted by the huge social issues that are facing us today, so they fail to focus time and instruction on their kids. Kids, in turn, lean to what society is saying to guide them, and thus the cycle repeats. Parents need to avoid getting so caught up in “success” and be more present in their children’s lives, like Blaze’s mom eventually becomes in the end.
Will, Ronnie’s eventual love interest, is plagued by a different kind of family destruction. Though his life as a cute southern boy with rich parents might seem perfect from the outside, his family is being driven apart by grief over the death of Will’s little brother. Despite that fact that Will knows his parents love him, their sudden overprotectiveness and micromanagement of his future is only serving to estrange him from them further by jeopardizing his true dreams. Studies indicate that kids whose parents are overprotective or authoritarian in style, are less likely to trust and respect their parents as figures of authority, and more likely to be involved in delinquent crime. Though Will himself never commits a crime, he doesn’t trust his parents enough to admit that he witnessed one, and he begins to feel distant from his mom, as when he “started...

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