Title: The "Normal" Family Essay

879 words - 4 pages

The "Normal" FamilyIn today's society, the term "family" invokes many different responses and emotions. Some may respond with the traditional two parent, two children and a dog scenario when asked what their definition of family is. But many more would have a very different view. These views could range from a single parent family to just roommates in a college dorm. A family is a group of people who create a set of relationships to ensure that their own and their loved ones' daily needs are met. They are people who are related by marriage, blood or emotional commitment (or other kind of commitment) who help each other with subsistence and emotional needs. Two present day novelists, Carol ...view middle of the document...

Families are and always will be "diverse," "fragile" and most importantly, "self-created" (503). There are several different types of families, all "unique," and "random" but none are "normal" (503). To some, Shield's view of the family may be too broad, but in actuality, it is just largely truthful. There is no one person who could define exactly what a family is supposed to be. A family is, as Shield's describes it, "self-created, provisional, and eager to avoid concerning [themselves] with the arrangements of others" (503). Since family is self-created, blood relation no longer holds such strong ties. Friends, co-workers and even pets are now family. Even if this may not be the "normal" family as portrayed by the Ozzie and Harriet show, this is "normal" in today's society, and will most likely continue to be "normal" until "millions of years" of evolution "redesign our basic regenerative mechanics, transforming us into another species all together" (499).Just as Shield's shows today's family far from the traditional view, Jane Smiley's article "Why Do We Marry?" comes to the conclusion that family is the idea that everyone is "safe and well-fed, getting along and taken care of," but not necessarily traditional (504). Smiley describes her family at a family dinner: her, her boyfriend, his daughter and son by his...

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