Breaking Family Ties

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Thai Ngo
Barbara Estermann
English 96
February 25, 2013
“Breaking Family Ties”
Norman Rockwell’s “Breaking Family Ties” gives us a look into the change of the post Great Depression and World War II generation. How America itself had changed so much in the passed 25 years from the greatest economic depression to being the greatest country on earth. It also shows the heartbreaking moment of a boy preparing to leave his father and dog and be on his own for the first time. The father, tired from a life of hard works, sacrificed everything so that his son can go to college; the young man, representing the post Great Depression and World War II generation, is making a better life than what his father had by getting higher education.

In Norman Rockwell’s painting “Breaking Family Ties”, a boy sits with his father and dog preparing to leave for college. The young man and his father sit on a board of the family farm truck. At the bottom corner of the painting, shows a single rail. Suggesting that they are waiting for a train. On the ground is the son’s suitcase with a “State U” sticker. Books are stacked on top of the suitcase. The young man has his tie and socks perfectly matched, and is wearing white trouser and matching jacket. Sitting with his hand folded, the young man looked eagerly toward the train track, ready for the next chapter in his life. His father; however, sits slumped with his and his son’s hats in his hand as if he didn’t want the son to leave. The father looked at the opposite direction of the rail; as if he didn’t want to see the train come and take his son away. Although the father and son are looking in opposite direction, the sense of family bond is still strong.

The father, probably in his late fifty, has been through the Great Depression and World War II; values his family more. The generation coming out of the Depression and World War II has been through some of the greatest challenges this country had ever faced. They worked hard their...
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