One's Own Place
Family is an important part of one's life. Home is one's first school and family members are the first teachers. Family relationships are special and create strong bonds. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is especially unique. Grandparents with their love, wisdom, and insight motivate grandchildren to be better people. They are very often role models and mentors for younger generations. They teach values, install ethnic heritage, and pass on family traditions. "Grandma," by Gerald Haslam, is a vivid and emotional portrait of a relationship between a headstrong boy and his bitter yet wise grandma, and the gradual development of compassionate love between them after starting out on an uneven terms. The grandson is headstrong as proven when, despite his "Grandma's" that the one-horned toads were poisonous and they spit blood from their eyes, he captures a toad for the second time and shows it to her. In fact, he described himself as being headstrong when he says, "I was determined to keep it, although I didn't discuss my plan with anyone" (71). Furthermore, he refuses to keep silent when his aunt and uncles decide to bury Grandma in a city cemetery "But Grandma has to go home,' I burst. She has to! It's the only thing she really wanted. We can't live her in the city,"' (75). Even when the elders warn him to keep quite and that he belonged with other children, not interrupting adult conversation, he does not give up. In the end through logic and reasoning, he succeeds in convincing the elders that Grandma should in fact be buried in the place where she belonged, at the ranch, where she had lived most of her life. Unlike the boy, who is stubborn, Grandma seems like a bitter lady as evident when despite their best effort in trying to impress her and keep her happy; she calls the boy and his father names. She calls the boy "el malcriado," meaning the brat,' and his father "ese gringo" (72). She refuses to speak in...
Cited: Haslam, Gerald. California Childhood "Grandma" 1988.
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