In 1980, Arlene Skolnick’s “The Paradox of Perfection” was published in Wilson Quarterly around the time when the “ideal family” was highly regarded. The article expresses the idea that the perfect family dose not exist. This essay is a prime example of how society views on what a family should be, subconsciously affects the behavior and attitude of the average family. As a psychologist from University of California, Skolnick presents her views through a series of historical contexts and statistics. Skolnick ironically exemplifies through the media that the picture perfect family is nothing more than a myth; in other words she uses the media concepts of a family as a foothold to convey her thoughts.
Although the article was written more than 20 years ago, Skolnick views projects a future representation of society and how their portrayal of the “ideal family” has not change. The essay covers an array of periods; a historical view to give a background to the essay, a present view to elaborate her thoughts and a future outlook to tie it all together. Through this process, the reader is able to follow and understand the author’s views, which are refurbished by historical evidence. Skolnick stated in the beginning of her essay, “Can the family be at once a cherished “value” and a trouble institution,” paragraph 4 as a way to establish her agreement. The statement basically means that what was once thought as the ideal family is now the main reason for typical families’ downfall.
Through a variety of metaphorical strategies, Skolnick is able to support her claims; the media and other image of the perfect family is an unrealistic model that average family use as a form of comparison. The author first address a general audience with her opening statement, which states the divorce rates, births out-of-wedlock, and presents a down to earth impression that captures any reads’ attention.
Even though Skolnick is psychologist, she is able to express her views in a matter that appeals to the general-mass. I am able to understand and agree with Skolnick’s arguments to a point, due to the fact that I have lived in two different cultures and therefore able to appreciate her ideals. I can see why the author believes so strongly in her arguments because it is easily seen that the American life-hood is bases on the output from the media and a collection of society’s regulations that force the average man to behave in a certain matter.
There are various statements that present the author’s claims throughout the reading. Skolnick employs the idea that even in colonial times the concept on the ideal family did not exist. She bring into play the idea that society restricted certain behavior and force families into behaving in a certain matter because the community then was very small; “Unusual behavior rarely went unnoticed, and neighbors often intervened directly in a families affairs, to help or chastise.”Paragraph 10. Skolnick manipulation of certain words and phases helps her in