Counter for the Case Against Chores

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Counter for the Case Against Chores Abstract Jane Smiley attempts to give parents advice about household chores in her essay The Case Against Chores, which was featured in an issue of Harper’s magazine in 1995. I think that Jane had a somewhat privileged childhood; if it weren’t for finding the way to hard work through working with horses, she would most likely not have a clue of how to operate in the adult world. I grew up in a house with a chore list, and it helped me on my path to be a functioning adult and mother. Agreed that most children would celebrate Jane Smiley’s case against chores, but is it any good? In her essay, The Case against Chores, Jane Smiley shows her contempt for chores by giving some opinions that I simply do not agree with. She makes it sound like chores are beneath children and parents should cater to their children. Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up in a “lower-middle” class family, or it could be the fact that I had a daily chore list, but I find Jane’s essay to be for the most part presumptuous, patronizing, and a bit judgmental. I feel like she is trying to give parenting advice based on outlandish notions that parents should be the sole caretakers of a home. My grandmother raised me and my little brother and sister. She herself grew up as the oldest of seven children. Her parents worked very hard to put dinner on the table and she often played the “mother” role. She grew up to be a hard worker like her mother and is a believer in and an implementer of chores. I distinctly remember the first time my grandma left me the dreaded chore list. It was a simple list- DUST & VACUUM LIVING ROOM- but I had foreboding feeling that this was going to be a permanent thing, and knowing my grandma, was not going to stay so simple. Boy was I right! That list grew to include: WASH DISHES; FOLD LAUNDRY; SWEEP AND MOP KITCHEN; COOK DINNER.

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