Learn to Accept Support

Family is the strongest support system a person can have, whether it is to comfort, grieve, or support. Their love for each other cannot be broken, especially during times of adversity. In the texts, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell, each protagonist fails to see the love their families want to give them. Instead of confiding in people who care, they attempt to overcome the challenge on their own.

Since Walter, Holden, and Ree struggle with overcoming the adversities in their personal lives, they all develop deep internal conflicts, thus distancing themselves from their family.

Walter Younger isolates himself from his family because he has difficulty meeting the standards he set for himself. After returning home from work, Walter learns his father’s life insurance proceeds arrived in the mail. He seems thrilled to see the money, but becomes sour when his wife, Ruth, and mother, Mama, do not seem as ecstatic.

while discussing the check, Mama questions Walter in an attempt to understand his behavior, but he struggles with articulating his thoughts; he asks, “do you know what this money means to me?” (Hansberry 73). In the 1950s, the societal norm was for men to earn money to support their families while the women stayed home to care for the children and maintain the households.

The Younger family struggles financially and Walter feels insecure about not fulfilling his “responsibility” as the man of the house.

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Unfortunately, he refuses to discuss this internal conflict because he fears judgment for disappointing his family. When the Younger family receives the life insurance proceeds, Walter believes he now has the opportunity to earn his position as the head of household. While his intent to use the money to allow him to provide future financial support and stability for his family is reasonable, Walter previously proved he is unreliable as he distances himself from his family when faced with adversity. Instead of having the courage to conquer the problem, Walter shies away from anything with the potential to hurt his pride. For example, after finding out Ruth put down a deposit for an abortion, instead of comforting her and discussing the situation, he leaves abruptly to go to a bar. Distancing himself allows him to avoid his feelings and ignore the reality of his current living and financial situations.

Holden Caulfield struggles with feelings of low self-worth and mental illness, causing him to experience mood swings fluctuating between manic behavior and depression. He creates a fantasy word to distract him from reality and distance himself from becoming too close to other people. The death of his younger brother, Allie, from leukemia was an extremely traumatic event in Holden’s life. Lacking the appropriate coping mechanisms, that night, he “broke all the goddam windows” (Salinger 44). As his parents struggled to deal with their own grief, they ultimately ignored Holden’s silent calls for help. The two brothers were close growing up and Holden thought highly of Allie. This is evident when Holden describes Allie as intelligent, kind, and unique.

Years later, Holden continues to struggle with accepting his death. He reminisces about the smallest details including how Allie wrote poems in his baseball mitt with a green pen. Throughout the novel, he continuously seeks Allie’s guidance like when he was wandering nomadically in New York. When Allie died, it was as if Holden lost a part of himself. Living in a fantasy world allows Holden to hide his internal pain and cover his feelings of low self-worth. The preoccupation with his thoughts distracts Holden from the pain he feels and allows him to communicate with Allie. This is apparent when Holden fails to make a connection with someone in New York so begins to talk aloud to Allie, a behavior he says he engages in when he is depressed. Holden self-medicates with alcohol and creates alternative realities, thus separating himself from his family and friends, to protect his mental health and prevent himself from spiraling into a deep depression.

Ree silently shoulders the burden of supporting her family causing her to feel pressured when making life-altering decisions. Ree yearns to join the army but struggles with choosing between what she wants to do and what she feels she must do for her family. Ree’s father, Jessup, is missing and while she searches everywhere for him she is unable to locate him. After learning Jessup missed his court date, Ree becomes singularly focused on proving his death in order to save her home which was put up as collateral to support Jessup’s bail. Her friend, Gail, tried to persuade her not to go, in her own best interest. However, Ree remained resolutely focused and responded, “how else is it goin’ happen?” (Woodrell 127). When Jessup left, Ree became the sole caregiver for her mentally-ill mother and two younger brothers becoming a parent figure at only 16 years old. However, Ree was left feeling overwhelmed with the huge amount of responsibilities that come with the “job”. These responsibilities include protecting her family from any possible threat.

The loss of their house would leave them all more vulnerable to potential harm. Ree’s mother’s mental illness and her brothers’ young ages deter Ree from confiding her problems to them, which she ultimately internalizes while distancing herself from the family. Besides Gail, Ree has no other confidantes or resources to turn to for help or advice on resolving her current situation, leaving her desperate for any glimpse of hope. For example, Ree blindly followed the three women who severely beat her after they promised to take her to Jessup’s body. Although Ree wants a better life for herself including leaving the Ozarks, she continuously faces adversities bigger than she can solve. The greatest adversity she faces is responsibility to care for her mom and brothers. Even if Ree wants to make a connection with her family members, she struggles to articulate her thoughts to them because she knows they may not fully comprehend her situation.

Walter, Holden, and Ree all separate themselves from others to guard their internal struggles after facing adversity in their personal lives. All three protagonists want to seek guidance and comfort from their family but have difficulty opening up about their struggles. However, a person’s family members are his or her closest allies when issues arise in his or her personal life. This is because families are bonded by more than just blood. They are bonded by the values they share and the infinite love they have for each other.

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Learn to Accept Support. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/learn-to-accept-support/

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