Changing Views of Family in Society

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A Family Portrait: How the Picture Keeps Changing Growing up I believed that the three bears in the tale of Goldilocks were a family because they lived under the same roof and ate at the same table. I also believed that Barbie and her little sister, Skipper, were family because they looked alike, and that Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head were family because they were married. Now that I am grown, my understanding of family has matured, and many sources have helped shape my belief. Carol Shields points out in her article, “Family Is One of the Few Certainties We Will Take with Us Far into the Future,” that all around us there are different definitions and symbols of family (Shields 558). In short, a family does not have to conform to a set mold to be considered a family. For example, a small family, such as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head’s, still qualifies as a family. On the contrary, Webster supports a more traditional view that defines “family” as a household consisting of parents and their children. Relatives and those who share a mutual ancestor are also included in this definition (“Family” 215). Our culture’s interpretation of family is constantly changing, and an amendment to the definition should be allowed for. History tells us that a family consists of a man, a woman, and their children, but I believe that today, that definition should branch out to include non-traditional families, which in some cases could even include, pets and close friends. Thousands of years ago, a family consisted of a man, a woman, their children, their servant, and any children the man had with the servant. King Solomon from the Bible is said to have had seven-hundred wives and three-hundred concubines. His family was quite literally the siz... ... middle of paper ... ...rom whether biological relatives or best of friends. Circumstances may alter the traditional sense of the word family, but human nature allows us to adapt and form our lives accordingly. With our ever changing society, maybe Hasbro Toys will someday have Mr. Potato Head leave the Missus for a certain lusty Radish and her two children. Works Cited Shields, Carol. “Family Is One of the Few Certainties We Will Take with Us Far into the Future.” Wall Street Journal, 1 Jan 2000. Elements of Argument. Eds. John E. Sullivan III and Deborah Baker. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006. 558-563. Smiley, Jane. “Why Do We Marry?” Utne Reader, Sep/Oct 2000. Elements of Argument. Eds. John E. Sullivan III and Deborah Baker. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006. 563-564. “Family.” Webster's New World Dictionary. Ed. Victoria Neufeldt. New York City: Pocket Books, 1995. 215.
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