What is Schine’s comment about fathers and mothers in this novel? How do the parenting styles of Kit, Joseph, and Frederick compare and contrast? Which one is a good father? How is fathering juxtaposed to mothering?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 10/16/10
I thought the dichotomy between mothers and fathers in this novel was fascinating. There were a variety of parenting styles depicted, but I think Schine comes out pretty strongly on the side of mothers being more helpful parents than fathers. Betty was devoted to her children, as was Annie, and Miranda wanted to be to Henry, but the fathers were either passing through (Kit), distant and tone-deaf to the children's needs (Joseph), or totally confused about his role (Frederick). None were effective.
Join Date: 07/24/11
I agree that it is the mothers in the story that seem to be the better parents here. Kit behaves like little more than a child himself and he definitely isn't a good parent to Henry. Joseph is a stepparent, but after he and Betty separate, he only seems to reach out to Annie and Miranda when he has something to gain from it or he wants them to convince their mother to respond in a certain way. Frederick is the worst of them all because he lets his children dictate his life a lot more than he should.
Join Date: 08/29/11
Kit starts out as a seemingly caring parent. After he leaves, his character is no longer developed, and one loses track of whether he's doing any parenting at all (with the introducion of Leanne, one realizes that he's almost out of the picture). Joseph is clueless. Frederick is a dolt.
Betty truly cares about her daughters. Annie cares about her children; Miranda cares about Henry (that she later switches to Henry's mother is just beyond me).
Please login to post a response.