Noelle and Amram are extremely defensive about their choices. Amram's need to be right ALL THE TIME comes partly, I think, because he doesn't feel like he is as good as Nathaniel (in particular) or the rest of the family (in general). What is interesting to me is that the rest of the family is doing what they are doing because they like what they are doing. (And when it stops being something they like doing, they stop doing it--Clarissa and the cello, for instance.) It strikes me that neither Noelle nor Amram have found their true professional calling, but they are so conscious of how others look at them (or how they think the others look at them), that they can't look for it.