While Rodriguez story Family Values highlights themes of him sitting in his car thinking about how his family would react to the news his about to announce, how family values are used by the republican party and how they see immigrant families aren’t as developed and modernize as Americans, and he also covered the fact that families from different origin of countries have different views when it comes to what really family is and that they’re usually family oriented. Kingsolver story, “stone soup” exposes themes of how the thought of most divorce family has changed the real meaning of traditional family and also changed how society views toward single parent has changed, how the economy plays a huge role into redefining families by letting single mothers get a job and be able to support her family, and she talked about how people should lose their negative views about divorced family into failed marriage. It is apparent by contrasting these two texts that one can understand the true values of family no matter the situation.
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Rodrigues and Kingsolver both acknowledge the fact that family values differ from society to society. Rodrigues explains that a family value tends to vary in different kinds of country around the world. As a Catholic, a homosexual, a Mexican migrant, and an intellectual, for him the meaning of family values tends to change as his life go through different obstacle. He explains that the American belief of ‘family value’ is that the children leave their home when they become mature enough, live on their own and discover about life on their own rather than letting their parent shape their future path by their past experience and encourages and tell their children “become your own man” (322). He also mentioned that the belief of ‘family values’ is given through discussing its use among the politician party and it’s put to use to define of migrants living in America. “Only a society so guilty about its betrayal of family would tolerate the pieties of politicians regarding family values” (322).
On the second story we can observe similar point of view from Kingsolver. The certainty that is in the head of our modernize world is that there no lifelong common “traditional family”. Kingsolver felt that most of us shouldn’t let it concerns us too much, “Arguing whether nontraditional families deserve pity or tolerance is a little like the medieval contest about left-handedness as a mark of the devil” (Kingsolver 307). Both stories believe that the economy plays a huge role into any family, and always will play role into the strength and weakness of a family. Kingsolver goes to into detail concerning families that suffered a lot through the great depression and explains that families who live in poverty had a major lack of money for housing, She writes concerning how the “Family of Dolls” theory was gave after the economy increased to make sure women handed over their jobs to nuclear family and soldiers while solo parent families descended and had difficult time economically. She note that families are always being reshaped due to economic problem and how solo mothers have more chance to be hired now when compare to 1950 and are able to become a divorce and able to strive to success and provide any needs for their family and become “happy”.
Even though both story have similar point of views on some part of the stories, but both story have different messages and discuss about some different problem that everybody faces each day. Rodriguez highlighted that his problem are relates many immigrant family and tells shows his surroundings are people from around the world “India lives next door to Greece, who lives next door to Russia. I wonder what the Chinese lady next door to my parents makes of the politicians’ phrase family values” (Rodriguez 322). Typically when we talk about family values term, it’s a term used across the world to outline a set of ethical beliefs and traditional heritage affecting to every single different country and their culture. Family that comes to America from another country is more family oriented than Americans are “Hispanic attachment to family is seen by many Americans, I think, as the reason why Hispanics don’t get ahead. But if Asians privately annoy us for being so family oriented, they are also stereotypically celebrated as the new “whiz kids” in school. Don’t Asians go to college, after all, to honor their parents?” (Rodriguez 326). Family trust is having a huge impact on families and that’s what is breaking in America, Americans children don’t care about how their parents are doing or they’re not as open as in other cultures and we keep secrets in order not to face rejection by our families. “Little 10-year-old girls know that there are reasons for getting away from the family. They learn to keep their secrets–under lock and key–addressed to Dear Diary” (Rodriguez 326).
While both Rodriguez in “Family Values” and Kingsolver in “Stone Soup” use themes of family values and how everyone should contribute to shape a perfect family by personal experience instead of letting society change it. Both story also share their own differences, Rodriguez talked about his sexual preference and then he went on and explain the positive views and points about homosexual people contribute to society and to family. “A gay son or daughter is the only one who is “free” (married brothers and sisters are too busy). And, indeed, because we have admitted the inadmissible about ourselves (that we are queer)–we are adepts at imagination–we can even imagine those who refuse to imagine us.” (Rodriguez 324). He then mentioned that the politicians have their own definition when it comes to family values, more specifically Republicans. They tend to be careless when it comes to family values and don’t even bother to talk about simple issue that most Americans families face each day, “what do politicians, Republicans or Democrats, really know of our family life? Or what are they willing to admit? Even in that area where they could reasonably be expected to have something to say–regarding the relationship of family life to our economic system–the politicians say nothing.” (Rodriguez 322). The other point that Rodriguez made was the fact that, how family values changes due to the fact that different society and different cultures from different country with their own beliefs and idea about family values get to come to America and experience Americans family values. Most people who came to America from different country tend to be more family oriented than Americans. He also said that other races have a habit of being stereotypical toward other races, “Hispanic attachment to family is seen by many Americans, I think, as the reason why Hispanics don’t get ahead. But if Asians privately annoy us for being so family oriented, they are also stereotypically celebrated as the new “whiz kids” in school. Don’t Asians go to college, after all, to honor their parents?” (Rodriguez 326).
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Kingsolver’s story contains its own originality because it covers about how society sees single parents as a weakness, how Americans are stereotypical and seems to be downgrading single parents for a fact that majority of Americans are single parents, and she talked about how family need to share and love one another. She gives details on how she grew up with nuclear family “When I was a child, I had two parents who loved me without cease” (305) and now she comprehends the fact that she is a single mother but yet she and her daughter are doing fine. She admits that divorce is just a lazy way to get out of marriage and when she was a young, she admired the thought of being part of “family doll” then she realized that in her marriage she didn’t find that fairy tale which forced her into divorce “. I did not completely understand that another whole story begins there, and no fairy tale prepared me for the combination of bad luck and persistent hope that would interrupt my dream and lead me to other arrangements” (Kingsolver 306).
In conclusion, both Rodriguez and Kingsolver have their different point of view that makes them who they are. While Rodriguez talked about being open and letting his families consume the fact that his gay, the politicians who always seem to be concern about how the economy doing but failed to discuss on family values, and how immigrant family are more family oriented compare to Americans family. Kingsolver acknowledges the fact that “Family Dolls” usually don’t exist due to the fact that every household faces some obstacle at some point in their lifetime that reshape their marriage and most of the wouldn’t feel bad when it comes to the idea of divorce. She also reveal that getting devoice does not mean it’s a lazy and easy way out of marriage, everybody have their own issues and we shouldn’t be judging others on how they should live their life. At last, both stories have one vivid message, and that is family value shouldn’t have an outline or a guide, It should be a learning experience and everybody should contribute to that experience, “Any family is a big empty pot, save for what gets thrown in. Each stew turns out different. Generosity, a resolve to turn bad luck into good, and respect for variety–these things will nourish a nation of children.” (Kingsolver 310).
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