Separating by Leon Stokesbury - Essay Example

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It also referred to as social artifact since it entails the general behavior of a people in a society and how they relate one another. They also depict how they…
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Separating by Leon Stokesbury
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due A cultural artifact gives information on a people’s culture and it describes their ethnic practices and beliefs.It also referred to as social artifact since it entails the general behavior of a people in a society and how they relate one another. They also depict how they exchange their information (McClure, 19). Therefore, a cultural artifact holds a special relation to the people. They can identify with the cultural artifact in their ways of living. John Updike’s story “Separating” is a valid cultural artifact for old and contemporary life.
John Updike writes about the Maple family that is about to be separated by the virtue of a divorce. Richard is a father of four children and is particularly acknowledging of the crisis in his mid-years (Updike 2145). This is what is driving the separation from his wife who is against exposing it to their vulnerable children. By this analysis, it shows the family as a vital element in the society. It shows how people relate to one another, their responsibility to family and their willingness to hold it together. This serves to show some elements of a cultural artifact. The characters, such as Richard’s wife Joan, infer that family relationships are important at the time and should always be considered while making decisions at any time. The actions of Joan show that women at that time and place were responsible for keeping their family together. They were sensitive to matters that would affect their family’s wellbeing. The actions of Richard serve to show that men at that time were responsible for taking care of their families too. Their motivations to provide for their family at that time and place surpassed the reasoning whether the man and woman were in good terms. For example, Richard moved around repairing hinges, getting mowers sharpened and repairing the tennis court. This shows that a man always had the interest of the family at all times regardless of the situation (Updike 2139).
The plot of the story shows that the time was full of difficulties. It was hard to let go of family at that time. It is still hard today also, the fact that Richard has another woman shows that unfaithfulness was present in that time and place. Families struggled to hold together due to the strains in their lives of some parties, in this case, Richard’s crisis this characterizes the history of the time as one with marital problems. The setting of the story is around the family’s homestead. All activity takes places there, especially dinner with the family being the most significant. It shows that the family residence was an important place to discuss matters. It is the abode of the family that offered room for discussion of issues and unraveling of contentious family matters at the time. This implies that the time demanded solutions to problems in the family abode.
Richard labels his children as "four knifelike walls" to show the sensitivity and delicate nature of the information about leaving them. The connotation to items that are regularly used by the household strengthens the idea of the poem being a cultural artifact.
At most, the poem heavily relies on the relations among people to show the idea of cultural artifacts. The behavior of people towards each other is of essence as demonstrated by Richard’s wife decision not to reveal the separating news immediately to their children. The characters in the story demonstrate the social aspect that labels it a cultural artifact.
Works cited
McClure, Michael Glenn. Artifact. Lander, WY: WigRaf Pub., 2007. Print.
Updike, John. “Separating.” In Lauter 2139-2147. Read More
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