Family Dysfunction Economic Distress and essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

It shows the selfishness of Dewey Dell, who is only concerned about her pregnancy and gives other family members little thought. It shows the long-suffering, to the point of self-immolation, of Cash. It shows the rivalry of Darl and Jewel, both vying for their dead mother's affection. And it shows the innocent simplicity, bordering on mental instability, of the young Vardaman. Each of these family members was affected in different ways by this destructive family dynamic.

Anse, in one of the most telling passages in the book regarding his relationship to the family, goes down the list of family members and whines about how each has cost him money in some way, further complaining that he has to work, when he does so, even though he doesn't have any teeth (35-37). Wadlington argues that because the story is set in the south and Anse is the "master" of the house, such laziness sets in motion a story of economic neglect in a culture where the male parent should be the breadwinner but isn't in this case. This selfishness of the father toward his children and wife is certainly evident, and it impacts negatively on the children. For example, in the youngest child's narratives, Vardaman speaks often of his mother and siblings but almost never talks about Anse. In the one extended passage where the father is mentioned, Vardaman repeats that "Pa Walks around. His shadow walks around." (65-67). The father is just a peripheral figure in the children's lives. And when he does come around, he makes no effort to hide his selfishness and pettiness, even going to the extreme of marrying a new bride and getting new teeth the day after he places his old wife, the children's mother, in the ground, as noted by Cash (261). Because he has also sold Jewel's horse and used Cash's phonograph money previously to buy new mules, the fact that he wore new teeth had to come as a double insult. (He got his dream, but deferred theirs.) He was even willing to allow his son Darl to be committed to a mental institute to save having to pay for the barn. As a father figure, he cuts a poor image.

Addie, we know mainly through the product of her children. We find that she seemed incapable of giving real love to the children and to her husband. In the one passage she narrates, she says, "I gave Anse the children. I did not ask for them" (174). She also makes the point that she had no love for Anse, but simply did her duty as a wife, and one presumes this is true in her role as a mother as well. Only to Jewel does she show something like real affection, as when she wanted him to come while she was on her death bed, and the other children notice this (47).

Cash, who serves as the narrator for several passages in the novel but often seems to choke on his words (96, 165), seems to be the most stable character, at least as seen through the eyes of his siblings. However, he doesn't seem to know how to interact with the rest of the family in order to get them to work together and overcome their selfishness and rivalries. In a telling passage revolving around the placement of the coffin on the wagon, but also hinting at more, he says, "It wasn't on a balance. I told them that is they wanted it to tote and ride on a balance, they would have to & #8230;" He doesn't know how to finish the sentence. As the oldest child, the one who earned money (suitable for someone with his name), perhaps he felt responsibility without authority. He eventually resigned himself to suffer along with the family, and in doing so, seemed to gain his voice, for it is he that narrates the final passage, and does so with a kind of new-found peaceful quiet (258-261). It seems that putting his mother in the grave released him from a burden that he had carried as the oldest child in a family where the mother and father both rejected the children.

Darl has odd visionary abilities and, perhaps because of this, he is the most sensitive and articulate Bundren. He narrates more passages than any other child and perhaps it is this role as spokesperson that ultimately drive him mad. He has an intense rivalry with his brother Jewel, whom he seems to know is not his full brother, for the love of Addie. As fitting for someone with a name that seems to be a variant of Darling -- but one that shows reluctance on the part of the parent to go the full way in naming him such --[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Family Dysfunction Economic Distress And" (2009, December 10) Retrieved October 24, 2016, from

"Family Dysfunction Economic Distress And" 10 December 2009. Web.24 October. 2016. <>

"Family Dysfunction Economic Distress And", 10 December 2009, Accessed.24 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Psycho Educational Models of Family Therapy and Transgenerational

    Psycho-educational Models of Family Therapy and Transgenerational Models of Family Therapy in Correlation to Physical and Sexual Violence and Abuse Molestation, commonly known as sexual abuse, is defined as forced sexual behavior by one individual with another. However, sexual assault is one which is not so frequent, lasts for short duration, and is immediate. Pejoratively, sexual abuser or offender is referred as a molester. It also means any act on behalf

  • Postmodern and Family System Theory Approach

    Counselling Theories Postmodern and Family System Theory Approach There have been significant interest in research on the problems of addiction; hence, the many scientific studies on the issue. Many of the studies in this area end up with the same conclusions; the concept of addiction is complicated. The complexity partly arises from the effect it has on the drug abuser from different perspectives such as psychological, social, biological, and the impacts of

  • Children Grief and Attachment Theory

    Figure 1 portrays three of the scenes 20/20 presented March 15, 2010. Figure 1: Heather, Rachel, and Unnamed Girl in 20/20 Program (adapted from Stossel, 2010). Statement of the Problem For any individual, the death of a family member, friend, parent or sibling may often be overwhelming. For adolescents, the death of person close to them may prove much more traumatic as it can disrupt adolescent development. Diana Mahoney (2008), with the

  • African American Women Who Have Lost

    However, conventional beliefs that there is low rate for African-American involvement in suicidal activities, there exists minimal focus on learning the possible suicide patterns among African-Americans. Social workers are not aware of the risks and protectiveness among African-Americans. This gives room for misinterpretation of facts concerning self-destructive activities of African-Americans. The research further stresses the importance of social workers to the study of suicide among African-Americans. They also have the

  • Teen Pregnancy and Parenting on

    Of these elements, they found anxiety sensitivity to be directly linked to lower levels of educational advancement. Anxiety sensitivity mainly comprises symptoms of anxiety leading to fear due to a certain belief that anxiety has dangerous somatic, psychological, or social penalties. In one study scholars found that the basic forms of fears were the playing field for a broad spectrum of fear-stimuli and they found that these basic forms of

  • Detrimental Effects of Female Gang

    (St. Lawrence). Delivering the intervention while housed in correctional facilities has the advantages of minimizing attrition, maintaining attendance at sessions, successfully delivering greater intervention dosage, and controlling for both the assessments and the intervention delivery. The disadvantages, as indicated above, are twofold: First, incarcerated girls will not have real-world opportunities to practice newly acquired skills between sessions; second, potential concerns exist regarding whether content acquired from an intervention delivered

  • Sociological Perspectives in Relation to

    Thus, in lower income black families, the stresses of poverty, unemployment, and lack of education may translate to divorce and disillusion. Because unemployment is higher among blacks, it makes them a sub-group in our nation, which they have been as a culture almost since they came to this country. This ads to their strong beliefs and values and makes them susceptible to the Functionalist Perspective when it comes to

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved