Essay about The Is A Nuclear Or `` Traditional `` Family ``

1198 Words Dec 1st, 2016 5 Pages
The concept of a nuclear or “traditional” family is presented throughout this film as we observe Lester Burnham’s internal struggle with his role in the family. The audience is introduced to both the internal and external points of view regarding Burnham’s family structure which frequently represents itself as idealistic to those peering in--yet, we can clearly see a strong underlying sense of discord beneath the surface. For example, Carolyn Burnham represents herself as the doting mother, wife, and real estate agent that can balance it all, even in the miniscule details she finds a way to portray herself as the “perfect housewife,” such as when she mentions her secret gardening tip of using eggshells and miracle grow. A major contributor to Carolyn and Lester’s failing marriage seems to be their power struggle over who is seen as the breadwinner. Lester finds himself struggling to work a job he hates, while Carolyn is also shown to be having difficulties selling her houses. There is a substantial difference between the two and how they relate to this “breadwinning” title, Lester appears indifferent and continues his responsibilities out of habit and expectation; meanwhile Carolyn is shown to be more devoted to being the strong head of the household and often reprimands Lester for his issues at work. The audience is shown Carolyn in a moment of weakness as she cries following a failed house showing, but she quickly recovers by demanding herself to get it together. This…

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