Television Depiction Of Family Life Essay Research — страница 2

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due to financial reasons. During the agricultural era it was profitable to have many children so they could help with the workload. Once countries became industrialized, the extra help was not necessary for survival, and children became a financial burden for their parents. The family in ?Honey I Shrunk the Kids? is a good example of this change. My final example of a family in the media is a very dysfunctional and non-traditional family. This is the family in the drama ?What?s Eating Gilbert Grape?. The family is composed of a mother and four children. In this unusual situation, Gilbert, the oldest boy, fully supports the family financially. His father committed suicide while the children were still young. The Mother is unable to work due to her obesity. She has very little

input on the way that the family functions. The Mother is basically a burden to the family because she is unable to help in any way, but she drains the family income. Amy, the oldest sister, acts as a mother figure to the younger children and nurtures them. Arnie, who celebrates his eighteenth birthday during the film, is both a financial and emotional burden for the family. He is severely mentally handicapped, and the other children must constantly monitor his actions. Ellen is the youngest child at fifteen years of age. She expresses her displeasure with her family situation throughout the movie. It becomes obvious that there is a lot of emotional stress due to the Mother and Arnie. This is a very unusual family situation that is depicted in a very realistic manner. Gilbert has

a tremendous amount of stress put on him to provide for his family. It is difficult for him to adjust to his role as the family provider, due to his immaturity. However, he is forced to accept this role in order to support his loved ones. The situation is also very taxing on Amy, the oldest sister. While she has other interests and ambitions, she is stuck at home taking care of her family. Although this family situation is very rare, it represents the increasing number of dysfunctional families today. It also shows the tremendous amount of stress that can be placed on the children in these types of families. The various family structures presented by the media depict the universal changes taking place within the home. As society increases its tolerance, families are no longer

pressured to fit into a specific stereotype. These changes in the home are largely due to the changing roles of women in society. Women are now encouraged to become educated and pursue careers of their choice. This is leading to changing family structures as mothers leave the home and get jobs. They key to these changes is societal tolerance. Now that many different types of families are socially acceptable, family members are free to pursue their ambitions. It has become obvious over the past few decades, that with communication and understanding, healthy families can be found in all different shapes and sizes.