Erstwhile: Family and Author

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Confessions of an Erstwhile Child is an essay which analyses the concept of the nuclear family. At first the author explains the ideas of Thomas More's Utopia, but afterwards narrows his content by going into explaining his thoughts on children raised in dysfunctional families. He very cleverly shows the reader part family model's with current ones, allowing his audience to make the decision for themselves. His tone is a logical philosophical. The reader is told of his depressing childhood growing up in a dysfunctional family, and how it had a profound effect upon his life. The author uses his own personal experience and knowledge to express his opinions on his topic, but really doesn't use much inference to other cases or factual evidence to back up his argument. All and all, the author wrote an essay which would prove to be thought provoking and well organized.

In this first paragraph, the author battles with a commonly held belief that children are the "property" of their parents for a certain amount of time in their lives. The author constructs upon the topic slowly by disclosing his problem with the idea of children as property, only to bring his own life experiences into count by explaining his adolescence with a dysfunctional family. By bringing in his personal experiences, the author is in some sense considered an authority figure on the topic of a child's life with a dysfunctional family. He compares the concept of parental custody with apprenticeship, and he puts it all together by creating a practical solution to the problem. His true thesis sentence is seen in the last paragraph where he says, "We have invested far too heavily in the unproved "equity" called the nuclear family; that stock is about to crash and we ought to being finding escape options" (p 196). By gradually giving the reader background info on the problems of the modern dysfunctional family, and then stating the thesis at the end, he very clearly gets his argument across....
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