Essay on The Unravelling Knots of Family Ties

1484 Words 6 Pages
Families are complex relations forged out of the interplay between love and joy, laughter and mirth, tears and regret. Whether it is the relationship between husband and wife or grandparent and grandchild, problems are always manifest in these familial relations. Family Ties, by Clarice Lispector, is a collection of short stories that explores the problematic nature of relations between kin. As evident in its title, “ties” suggests both the bonds and the burdens that lie among family members. However, Lispector states that these family bonds are only temporary, despite the unifying potential of love. Lispector uses symbolism, repetition, imagery, diction, punctuation, dialogue contrast, point of view, metaphors, and motifs to …show more content…
The tactile imagery portrays society’s mistreatment of women, particularly their objectification which causes the separation of women from their families. Furthermore, when the chicken lays an egg, the girl shouts, “‘Don’t kill the chicken, she’s laid an egg! The chicken loves us!'’” (Lispector 51), and the father states, “‘If you have this chicken killed, I will never again eat a fowl as long as I live!’” (Lispector 51). Accordingly, the chicken is accepted into the family only once she gives birth, as shown by the exclamation marks and diction of admiration in the dialogue portraying the girl and her father’s tone of joy and excitement. The chicken is then addressed as “the queen of the household” (Lispector 52), in comparison to the father who is “the master of the house” (Lispector 50) and primarily the head of the family. Lispector uses a metaphor to state that the chicken achieves an elevated status through motherhood. The chicken, who is formerly “alone in the world” (Lispector 50), becomes “part of the family” (Lispector 51). The contrasting diction, “alone” and “part,” signifies the change generated by the chicken’s accomplishment of society’s expectations. Hence, Lispector implements the chicken’s conflict to exemplify society’s acceptance of females into families only after fulfilling

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