It is necessary to take into consideration the fact that family relations are frequently applied by various authors to spice their writings. Family and relations within it are considered to be the most important thing in human life. That is why so much attention is paid to these issues in the works of such writers as Amy Tan, Sandra Cisneros, Joyce Carol Quates and Alice Walker. These authors managed to prove that human life is closely connected with his/her family and attitude towards relatives. The above-mentioned writers indicated the role of home due to depicting the relations between a wife and a husband, a child and parents. This is easily seen by means of the following stories: Half and Half (by Amy Tan), Woman Hollering Creek (by Sandra Cisneros), Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? (by Joyce Carol Quates) and Everyday Use (by Alice Walker).
Each story under consideration is very important and discusses a certain issue connected with family life. For example, Half and Half by Amy Tan demonstrates the relationship between mother and her daughter Rose. It was influenced greatly by the death of Rose’s brother. In fact, Rose is the protagonist of the story, she is Chinese girl. She moved to America together with her parents, two sisters and four brothers. However, this change in their life became a real disaster. During the bathing on the beach Rose did not manage to take care of all her sisters and brothers. One of them (Bing) fell into the ocean and drown. This was the first rose’s experience about fate and its influence upon people. This situation turned Rose’s mother from a believer into an atheist. This situation influenced the protagonist’s life as well. She could not forget that it was her fault that she had not watched the brother properly. Perhaps, that is why she could not voice her own point of view in the family. Rose’s husband (Ted) always was a leader. This type relationship became the major reason of divorce.
In Woman Hollering Creek Sandra Cisneros describes family from another point of view. In this story Sandra Cisneros describes the broken hope of a young woman to find romance and everlasting love in the family. The protagonist (Cleofilas) suffers domestic abuse at home and finds no other way out of this situation except of escape. This young woman faces alcoholism, poverty and violence at home. She does not like such a family and searches for the ways to change her fate. This is the best way to oppose isolation and desperate hope for better life and environment. The above-mentioned situation helps the readers to draw a conclusion that according to Sandra Cisneros’s point of view a family is not always a bed of roses for its members; it also can be the source of violence and broken hope.
Another story closely connected with the theme of family is Where Are You Going, where Are You Been? written by Joyce Carol Quates. Here the author introduces young Connie to the readers. She is only fifteen, but already has bad relations with all the members of her family. Firstly, she does not demonstrate respect and obedience towards her mother as the latter forbids her amazing the own image in the mirror. Secondly, she dislikes her elder sister June, who is often called an example of perfect behavior. Thirdly, Connie does not know what the father’s love is as he never talks to both his daughters. This situation, lack of understanding in her own family, makes Connie to choose something in order to make her life more interesting. The object of her choice becomes various dreams about beauty and numerous boyfriends.
In fact, the protagonist lives in two worlds in the same time. The first one is real and the second one is inspired by Connie’s drams about love inspired by popular songs. However, love turns to be not as sweet and innocent as described in songs and movies. The girl does everything possible in order to seem older and more beautiful. This attracts much male attention. This sort of behavior leads to sexual abuse and entering an adult word in an unexpected way. It is necessary to stress that the protagonist might have another behavior and fate if she was paid more attention in her own family. Lack of understanding and care made Connie search for these things out of home.
In Everyday Use by Alice Walker the readers are introduced to one more family. It consists of two sisters (Dee and Maggie) and their mother. One of the sisters – Dee – is educated and this factor separates her from her own family. Knowledge becomes the wall between Dee and her relatives. She seems to demonstrate to respect towards mother and tries to force strange ideas described in the books she study to the sister and mother. This behavior influences the relationship in the family greatly. Dee even changes her name into some phrase that is too difficult to pronounce for both mother and Maggie. This demonstrates total disrespect to mother’s attempts to give her daughter a better life with the help of education.
In fact, mother tried to give Dee the things she had not received herself. Her school was closed and she had no opportunity to continue studies. However, Dee did not appreciate mother’s attention and love. Perhaps, she had not been taught to do that. The girl lacked father’s attention and love. She did not see an example how to treat her own mother. The consequences are seen in her behavior that sometimes seems to undergo the only purpose – to irritate mother and sister.
It is necessary to stress that all the stories under consideration make the theme of family the central topic of the writing. All the stories are dedicating because they depict various families and attitudes between the members of the family. It seems that the authors of Half and Half (by Amy Tan), Woman Hollering Creek (by Sandra Cisneros), Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? (by Joyce Carol Quates) and Everyday Use (by Alice Walker) created these texts because one and the same purpose – they wanted to demonstrate the consequences of wrong upbringing and broken dreams connected with family life (Woman Hollering Creek). Although these are just stories, they can provide the readers with some useful information to apply in everyday life in order to establish perfect relations within a family.
Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. Columbia: University of Missouri
Press, 2006. Print
Quates C. J. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? U.S: Library of Congress
Cataloging-in-Publication Data, 1994. Print.
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. London: Penguin Books, 2006. Print.
Walker, Alice. Everyday Use. U.S: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data, 1994.