The Role Of Family Dynamic On Children 's Transition Into Adulthood

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The influence family members can have on the development of a child is enormous; they can either mold a healthy mind or drive a child toward darkness. Jennifer Egan’s Safari is a short story that highlights the different relationships in a family with a complicated background. Rolph and Charlie come from a divorced household and join their father, Lou, and his new girlfriend, Mindy, on an African safari. As the events of the trip unfold, Lou’s children experience a coming of age in which they lose the innocence they once possessed. The significant impact of family dynamic on children’s transition into adulthood is presented in Safari. Jennifer Egan uses Mindy’s structural classifications of Charlie and Rolph to demonstrate how Lou and Mindy’s relationship hinders the maturation of the two kids. Jennifer Egan’s use of structural classifications about Charlie’s role within her family displays the reason for Charlie’s deterred development. Egan shows the way in which Charlie internalizes societal classifications for a typical mixed family and how it negatively affects her later on it life. Mindy proposes a series of generalized ideas she envisions to be true in society and applies them to Lou’s children. Charlie is assumed to have “structural resentment” (Egan 5) in which she despises her father’s new girlfriend and uses her “nascent sexuality” (5) to gain his attention. Charlie confirms this generalization by purposely trying to get a rise out of her father. When Lou becomes angry with Charlie for arriving late to the jeep after flirting with an older guy, “Charlie didn’t care then and doesn’t now” (3) and feels that “there’s a charge for her in simply commanding the fickle beam of her father’s attention” (3). Charlie takes on the ... ... middle of paper ... ...a more nurturing environment, his apparent fate may not have been the same. Jennifer Egan’s Safari sheds light on how a damaged household can hinder a maturing child. Egan presents various classifications of Charlie and Rolph’s roles within their broken family in order to demonstrate their possible fates, considering the way they are being raised. By showing the development of Charlie’s cynical side and Rolph’s inability to make his own decisions and form his own beliefs, Egan raises awareness of the importance of positive role models in children’s lives. Caretakers and family members are powerful forces on growing children, who are trying to find their true selves and realize their purposes in life. With a nurturing family environment, children are able to develop the necessary skills to make the transition from youth to adulthood as smooth and healthy as possible.
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