What Is Family?

Topics: Short story, Mother, Fiction Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: August 6, 2013
What is family?
The other day I went shopping with my mother and it got me thinking about the importance and quality of family life and dignity. It also allowed me to relate myself to the short story On her Knees by Time Winton trough the characters Victor and Carol Lang. The theme of dignity is expressed by the author at the beginning of the story where the mother finds “there was more honour in scrubbing other people’s floor than in having strangers scrub your own” Through this quote we see the mother’s pride is what she does and also that she does not mind where she came down from namely her previous employment as a receptionist in. “Cleaning was a come-down from her previous job, eighteen years before, as a receptionist in doctor’s surgery”. This conveys the importance of family in the short story because this shows how the persona’s mother sacrifices for Victor’s benefit. I ‘am sure that some of us can relate to this situation, too. Furthermore, the author expresses the difference in social status using such words as ‘wealthy’ and ‘working class’. Those words are used to as if to constantly ask the reader is it really class that determines your self-worth. “She only left jobs, she did not lose them”. This quote shows how much Carol respected herself. Another contrast between classes is evident in the quote, “Silence, that’s their idea of an apology”. This portrays those upper people in a negative way. The description of the place is explained in such a way to show that the owner of the house is rich. “We pulled in the leafy street beneath a block of art deco flats”. This is juxtaposed to mother’s description “Veins livid in her legs” which represent labour and pain. Most importantly, one of the ideas identified in the story is family through the characters of Victor and Carol left by themselves which the father “Shot through”. The author sows the importance and quality of family life through Carol, she provides his son not only with money for his Uni fees,...
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