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Critical Analysis: The Truth about Parenting

By lolakalonji Mar 26, 2014 767 Words

Critical Analysis:
“The Truth about Parenting”

In the article, “The Truth about Parenting”, Professor Marjorie Downie expresses to readers that parenting is one of the most risky processes that any human being , mothers in particular, can undergo; it is also bittersweet because persons choose to be parents. Downie informs readers of how being a parent is not all that it seems by identifying the difficulties that parents face during each stage of a child’s life. When a child is first born he or she keeps the mother up all night until she can coax him or her back to sleep. When the child is old enough for school the parents have to buy uniforms and pay school fees; Downie expresses that this may very well be the easiest. The real trouble begins when the child reaches the adolescent stage of rebellion, ignorance, and even the risk of becoming parents themselves. The adolescent stage is when the parents will either see the fruits of their labor or endure countless disappointments. Being a parent is a difficult job, however, Downie’s use of satire makes her interpretation of parenting completely cynical and unpleasant. Nevertheless, although it comes off as a very crass piece of writing, this article was well organized and extremely elaborate. Downie introduced the subject matter, established her viewpoint, and provided the audience with sustainable evidence to support her viewpoint which creates an excellent argument. Downie specifically crafts the article as an instruction manual telling the parents what exactly to expect at which stage of their child’s development. The parent experiences various emotions as their child goes through these phases as well: from excitement to happiness to relief to frustration to either pride or embarrassment. The introduction of the article fits the nature of the other paragraphs and Downie uses a number of allusions to further express her view that parenting can be extremely difficult. The first six paragraphs explicitly outline the processes and the role that both parent and child play. Paragraph eight showcases the softer side of the composition when the writer speaks of the child’s unreserved love for her parents during the first ten or twelve years of his or her life but she quickly shifts back to her cynical tone when she starts to explain the adolescent stage. Downie’s style of writing usually conveys a particular message but since she uses so much of one device the message in this composition is very difficult to decipher; perhaps the heavy use of satire is clouding whatever the message is. This composition is addressed to a very broad audience, parents. Some parents may find it indefinitely truthful yet crass and some parents may find it quirky and amusing. This composition made me ask myself, “I wonder if this is how my parents really feel? “. It gives the impression to the average college student or teenager that they are burdening their parents and they are better off just leaving and never coming back. The message was not properly conveyed to the audience because Downie’s use of satire became less amusing and more insulting to children as it progressed. Satire is understandably meant to convey the complete opposite of any thought or feeling but where exactly does a writer draw the line with his or her choice of subject matter? In all fairness, a week ago I read “What’s Wrong with Walking on the Grass? “ , another composition written by Downie, and was both amused and impressed with how well she used this device because she was tackling a very pressing issue, respecting the environment. Perhaps I do not understand the underlying issue that Downie is trying to this article, maybe there is no underlying issue ; maybe it was written to discourage potential teenage mothers from involving themselves in sexual activity or maybe there is no real purpose and she just wanted to showcase her satirical skill. The use of rhetorical devices in writing should always be commended, however, Downie did not pair this particular device with the appropriate subject matter. Parenting, although it may be difficult at times, is a blessing that should be respected and appreciated by both the parent and the child no matter how grueling it gets. Also, Downie should not make one assertion that parenting is bad based on her experiences alone; there are countless other children that do not torment their parents and cause them grief because they actually make an effort to heed to their parents’ instructions and lessons. Some children actually grow up and are molded into respectable and iconic figures of the community.

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