English 11 Notes for English Notes

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Speaking of Children

- Barbara Holland

The essay “Speaking of Children” is an extract from Barbara Holland’s renowned volume Mother’s Day or the View from In Here. In this essay, HHolland examines the idea of having more than one child and its effect on the parents. She believes that one child is an appendage but more than one is a way of life. One child is outnumbered and parents can brainwash it, carry it to parties, toss it on the bed with the coats and make it whatever they want. It is usually easy to look after one child. It is a part of their lives. But, plural children are a counter-culture in the house. Parents are outnumbered by the children. In other words, parents must accept or do something they do not want but they are compelled to do certain undesired things. They have to buy many toy sets and they can not go to the weekend where they like. They have to move to better schools for their children. They have to be involved in many social converse/talk/discussion. They are pushed backward. Above all, they have to lose peace and privacy because they are frequently interrupted by their children. Then, there is a bitter look in every one. When there is secrecy, they have to talk on the phone from their office. In this way, the children will not let the parents talk peacefully and privately. Even the plural children can become a real danger for a family because many marriages break up in AAmerica justdue to the children. As a whole, mothers of plural children have no peace in their life. They have to sleep with startling suddenness and finality or determination. So, this essay is against having many children.

Important Question

Does the essay speak in favor of or against having many children? Give reasons.

The writer of this essay is speaking against plural children in the family. She suggests that there should be a single child in a family. When there is only one child, it is outnumbered by the parents. In other words, the parents control the child. But if there is more than one child, the children control the parents. It’s not only that. There are many other advantages of a singular child. The parents can brainwash a single child. They can teach the child all sorts of good things including good discipline and good manners. The parents can provide many things to the child. They can buy all types of things that are required to develop the creative faculty of their child.

With two or more children, there are always problems. The rooms are always dirty with their toys thrown all over. It becomes impossible for the parents to try the telephone or piano. The telephone is always engaged by the children. The keyboards of the telephone or the piano are always dirty. With one child, one may very comfortably attain different parties, make a holiday program and so on. But, with plural children, it is always a counter-culture.

The most important point is that with plural children there remains no privacy between the husband and wife in the house. They do not have enough time to talk to each other. For example, when the writer tries to speak to her husband or when she wants to be alone with him, she can’t do so because they are always interrupted by their children. So, nowadays they telephone each other from their offices. The next important point is that in the families where there are plural children, the guardians almost get no time for the works of their personal development.

So, when we compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of one child and plural children, certainly there is no doubt that there should be only one child in a family. In the same way, the writer also advocates for one child in a family.

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