Ronnie Miller, the protagonist, may stand out as a piano prodigy, but she is all too alike the majority of American children in one regard: her parents are divorced. Approximately 50% of all marriages in the United States today end in divorce, usually for reasons such as poor communication, abuse, and infidelity. Studies have shown that the effects of divorce on children are uncomfortable at best; such kids are twice as likely to drop out of high school, and have a higher tendency for behavioral and psychological issues like violence and depression. Ronnie is a prime example of these findings, blatantly flaunting her disregard for grades or the law, and verbally attacking her dad in anyway she can by telling him that, “I’ve already gone three years without talking to you, and it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.” She blames her dad...
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...ake speeches about the necessity of families to build society, but does the family unit actually have a truly important effect on society at all? I would argue yes, but not just on an idealistic level. If we accept what research is showing us, then we know that the destruction of families is raising up a generation of psychologically unstable, dependent, undereducated, crime-prone children who will soon become the America of tomorrow. I can only imagine what society will look like when it is filled with people like that. How can we leave them to their own self-destruction now by saying that the decline of the family is not important? The Last Song may be chalked up as a mere romance novel, but the perspective it gives on different kinds of crippled families and how they heal is a valuable viewpoint from which to observe the plight of the family in our society today.
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