Text Essay: Bless the Beasts and Children

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Text Essay: Bless the Beasts and Children The Author of Bless the Beasts and Children hopes to convey to the readers of this novel messages such as Competition, Friendship, Determination, Morality, The American Dream, Dysfunctional Families, Animal Cruelty, and Reaching Maturity at Different Ages. One idea brought out in the text is Dysfunctional Families. All of the main characters in Bless the Beasts and Children are part of a dysfunctional family and there are plenty of pieces of evidence for this. For example, page 15 speaks of the parents of the Lally brothers and how “Every year they separated once or twice, began divorce proceedings, then reconciled and jetted off to ski at Chamonix or somewhere or to yacht in the Virgin Islands or somewhere. It gave them a game to play.” This piece of text shows that the Lally family is really dysfunctional. The parents, having “third-generation wealth” ran their lives as like a game. They would leave their two children in their 16 bedroom house with the governess, cook, butler, etc. When this happened, Lally II always felt lonely when they were gone even though the house was full of people. The parents showed no real signs of caring for their children, let alone their individual needs. Another example is found on page 30. However, this shows the past of Goodenow’s- life. He would experience panic attacks when he entered a classroom in fear for his mother back home without him. “The school psychiatrist…quickly diagnosed the oedipal relationship. When he was four [Goodenow’s] father died, and for eight years he slept with his mother.” The text goes on to describe Goodenow’s mother’s relationship with an engineer who she married. The stepfather had little time for Goodenow, refusing to undergo therapy for the sake of his stepson. Goodenow’s phobia intensified as did his dependence on his mother. Goodenow was “placed in a

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