Barbara Kingsolvers book High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never is a collection of twenty-five different essays. They do not seem connected to each other at the first sight, but in reality, a few major themes, such as parenting, motherhood, family life and nature, connect them together. Several of the essays contain a critique of different aspects in the U.S. culture on which the author focuses. For my writing, I chose four of those essays: High Tide in Tucson, Stone Soup, Somebodys Baby, Civil Disobedience at Breakfast, in which Kingsolver wrote about parenting in America. In my essay, I will try to explain how the author connected her essays with the critique of this aspect, and what the nature of her critique is.
In the first part of my essay, I would like to write about the relationship between parents and their children. Lets see what she wrote about the American parents way of education their children. In her essay Somebodys Baby, she wrote that the American culture tended to regard children as a sort of toxic-waste product: a necessary evil(100), a mistake that should not be rewarded.(102) People do not respect children, and when the children grow up, they do not want to respect the elders.
When I was studying in ESL 110D class, we talked with my teacher about respect. Before, I thought that Americans do not respect their elders. Thanks to my teacher, who explained to me that America is the nation that loves its independence. People do not help much their elders because they do not want to be deprived of the independence from their elders, and also elders do not want to cause problems to their youth. In other words, young people respect their elders, but in different ways than we do. It is very hard to understand people with the different cultural background and accept their points of view. But it becomes easier when we learn something about their culture.
Kingsolver wrote in her essay Somebodys Baby, The worth of children in America is tide to their dollar value.(102) There are a few government programs for the children in this country. The author compared this situation with the kids to the different situation in the other countries. In Spain, for example, is the culture that held children to be its meringues and clairs.(100) There people like kids, and they show their love and respect to the kids. She also said that in many other parts of the world the infant mortality rates are lower simply because those people attend better to their mother and children. It used to be like this in my country, but now the situation has changed. Before, the regular soviet family had two parents and three or more children. Now people try to have only one child because it much easier to raise one child than three or five. The first thing that surprised me when I just moved here was a lot of pregnant women I saw around. In my country, the pregnant woman is unique. I think the wish of people to have more children shows the wealth of the whole country. In my opinion, people here have a lot of government programs that support mothers and children. I disagree with the author because we have different cultural background and we see this problem from the different perspectives.
Kingsolver wrote in Civil Disobedience at Breakfast that children are adept at becoming what we expect them to be, but in her essay Somebodys Baby, she gave us the example of the old American lady who did not want to change her sit and put her own comfort first, the author warned us that we should be careful what we give our children, for sooner or later we are sure to get it back. (107) In this essay, she also wrote that parents come to the restaurants to get away from their kids. Maybe because the parents wanted to get away from the children, the children too wanted to move from their parents house as soon as possible and as far as they can. In High Tide in Tucson, Kingsolver wrote, My culture values independence