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The Role Of Family In The Open Boat, A Rose For Emily, And Sonny's Blues

1002 words - 5 pages

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof" (Bach). "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane describes a family that is not blood related, but related by situation. These four men who get trapped on a boat in the middle of the ocean are forced to come together as a family to try to survive. William Faulkner writes "A Rose for Emily" with a town who has known this elderly woman for a very long time. They simply consider her as family since she is part of the town. The blood family of two brothers in "Sonny's Blues" go through a rough patch when they have to ...view middle of the document...

They might not have found the land or even survived if it wasn't for their urge to come as one in such a small space. This family, unlike others, may not have been related by blood but put up a fight to help each other survive.
William Faulkner describes a different family, who is not blood-related, but has been knowing each other for a very long time. Emily Grierson in "A Rose for Emily" lives in a small, old town where everyone knows her by name. She is an elderly woman with no real family left but the townspeople who treat her as their own. Emily is considered part of the town because she has lived through most of what has happened there. The town decides to take Emily in by not making her pay her taxes or do any work around her house. She was "...sort of a hereditary obligation upon the town" (Faulkner, 516). Emily is kin to everyone living there. This generation may not be blood-line, but they treat her as so. She was the last part of history to the town and everyone was obligated to keep her happy. There was a reason Faulkner decided to have his plot set up this way. If everyone were to treat her as any other citizen of that town, she wouldn't have been what the conflict of the story was based around. Emily was known by the townspeople and treated as family because she has a huge impact on her surroundings.
A real blood line brotherhood in "Sonny's Blues" creates a different image for a pedigree. Sonny and his brother are complete opposites in their line of work. His brother is a teacher who has his life on track. Sonny, on the other hand, is trying to find his place in the world. The two brothers do not speak much until Sonny gets into trouble with the law and his brother is the only...

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