A Painted House Essay
Luke Chandler has a passion for baseball which is his American dream. His one desire is to be a professional baseball player but back then baseball was not a real career. Instead Luke was following in his family’s footsteps in cotton picking and helping out with work on the farm. In this book. John Grisham shows how people don’t always get to follow their American dream.
Even from the beginning of the book, it is noticeable how the Chandlers prioritize the cotton farm. Jesse Chandler, Luke’s dad and a former baseball player, had to give up his dream of playing professionally because of the bullet that was shot through his thigh. He tells Chandler (page 18) that “Pickin’ is more important than baseball these days.” Jesse blatantly informs his little boy that baseball will not be his focus. Most seven-year-old kids today have the ability to try and follow their dreams without having their elders tell them differently. Luke’s talk with his father is a perfect demonstration of how family can keep someone from pursuing their dreams.
Although Luke’s mom cares a lot for her son, she is also a great example of family influences on a person’s dream. On page 257, she tells Luke how they need to move up North for better opportunities. Luke is obviously not very comfortable with the news but he has no other option but to settle. He must conform to his family’s decision because he’s too young to make his own. This event in the book shows how family can make a person’s decisions for them.
Family influences to this day are vital to someone’s future. A person’s family can either help lead someone towards their dream, or in Chris O’Donnell’s case, away from it. Chris said that he had to put aside his dream of fulfilling his career as an actor for his wife and kids. In the same way, Luke Chandler gave up his dream of playing baseball to follow his family’s footsteps of cotton picking. Even though A Painted House took place in the 1950’s, it still...
References: Grisham, John. A Painted House. New York City: Doubleday, 2001. Online book
People. Chris O’Donnell: Chose Family over Fame, 2010. Web. Sept 3, 2014.
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