As a family's lineage develops, there may be apparent differences in the way of thinking, attitude, and devotion to tradition between the generations. These differences or developments can either build up friction between generations, or in some cases ultimately heal the discord between other generations. Both Julia Alvarez's contemporary short story, "The Kiss," and Chinua Achebe's classic "Marriage Is a Private Affair" reveal the conflict that can erupt when one generation of a family diverges from its traditional or family values. Both accounts display differences in the way of thinking of the conflicting parties and touch upon the aspect of healing their generation gap by offering some kind of appeasement.
There is the major theme portrayed in both stories. In each, there is a forbidden marriage that comes about as a result of children disagreeing with and hence rebelling against the traditional customs or values of their family. The major protagonist in each account coincidentally is the father who goes to great extents to estrange the rebellious offspring. Despite the fact that each story is written within a different era and culture, they both exhibit the dominant male figure as the family head, with very little or no input on what is right for the family from any other member. The paternal figures are strongly opinionated and do not waver from what they believe should be the proper behavior of their children, resulting in conflicts between Papi and Sofia, and Okeke and Nnaemeka.
Foreshadowing of the main conflict in "The Kiss" is evident when Papi cautions his daughters by exclaiming, "I do not want ...
... middle of paper ...
...s in real life situations, the birth of a child or in this case grandchildren, brings about pacification to feelings of dissension. The celebration of a new life, therefore, is far more important than any scuffle that might have hindered previous marital relationships, and both Achebe and Alvarez have proved this with their own unique styles.
Achebe, Chinua. "Marriage Is s Private Affair." Literature. 5th ed. Ed. Robert
DiYanni. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2002. 253-257.
Alvarez, Julia. "The Kiss." Literature. 5th ed. Ed. Robert DiYanni .
New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2002. 488-495.
Atwood, Margaret. "Happy Endings." Literature. 5th ed. Ed Robert DiYanni.
McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2002. 496-499.
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