Is today’s society getting too lax with their children? Why are parents not giving their children chores? What are kids lacking by not being held accountable? What happens when children do not have responsibilities at a younger age? My rhetorical analysis is focused on the short memoir “Farm Girl” from Jessica Hemauer who vividly paints you as the reader a picture of what it was like growing up on the farm and the effect it had on her life. This piece is one for the masses.
The way Hemauer’s memory of growing up on the farm is written could be for a wide range of people to comprehend. She more than likely wrote this memoir for an audience that had gone through trying times or at the time are currently going through times that are getting them down to see that those times do not always have to be a bad thing; it can be a good thing as well. With it being titled “Farm Girl”, being so easy to follow and an interesting piece to read Hemauer attracted far more than she intended.
It could be read by anyone that is interested about what it is like growing up on a farm or what chores may do for their child and many more as well. In the audience’s face right from the begging with intense details, Hemauer has the attention of the reader, because like myself, most individuals in today’s world couldn’t even fathom wanting to get up nor waking their ten year old child up at 5 A. M. Her use of emotional details in the explanation of how hard it is to get up and how even if she is to argue with her father it won’t get her anywhere makes the reader feel sorry for her.
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Though it is common place for her siblings and herself they don’t enjoy doing it as described by Jessica “As we dress, not a single word is spoken because we all feel the same way, “I hate this! ””(Hemauer, 2011, p. 113). Without this explanation from her, most people could logically gather that a group of children would never be enthusiastic about waking early to do work on a farm nor any work at all for that matter.
Hemauer then goes on to describe their duties on the farm before going to school, how she feels at school when she has nothing to talk about at lunch and how she yearns to be involved in sports and clubs at school “not being able to participate in school activities like my friends makes me feel left out and depressed” (Hemauer, 2011, p. 115). Appealing to the reader ethically Hemauer expresses what a large portion of kids in school want to do and be a part of cause they get to spend more time with friends and be part of something bigger than themselves.
Finally, Hemauer is allowed to participate in basketball but must still complete her chores which she is willing to comply with “In eighth grade I really want to play basketball, and after begging and pleading with my parents, they finally say I can join the team as long as I continue to help with chores in the morning before school and after practice” (Hemauer, 2011, p. 115). Though it is tough and causes her to fall asleep in classes sometimes, she manages to do both. Thankfully, only for a short time, then her father decides to hire help due to the farm growing so large and realizing how much his children have given up over the years.
Though at the time it is unknown to her how the experience had affected her life, later she reflects on the adult she became because of it “Each day of my life there are times when I reflect back to working on the farm” (Hemauer, 2011, p. 117). How Hemauer conveys her memoir and looks back on her childhood, shows us how valuable chores can be to a child despite how much they dislike doing them. A large percent of today’s youth lacks the drive or ambition to push their selves because they unlike Hemauer have not had the responsibilities of such magnitude nor any bestowed upon them. In earlier generations, children and adolescents were given meaningful opportunities to be responsible by contributing not only to their households but also to their larger communities," said Markella Rutherford, assistant professor of sociology at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and author of the new study, Children's Autonomy and Responsibility: An Analysis of Child Rearing Advice (Lack of household chores making children less responsible, claims survey, 2009). Chores used to be the social norm and without them a child misses out on learning valuable life skills. Chores allow children an early and sustained opportunity to experience responsibility. Independence and self-sufficiency in life are tied, ultimately, to mastery of two types of responsibility: personal responsibility and social responsibility” (Rowland, 2000, Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 16(6), 1). Though it can said many times, different ways that chores can help your child it is also said that you should never ask your child to do something hat you yourself wouldn’t do and they should be used by busy parents to spend more quality time with their child. Essentially helping both the child grow from the responsibilities and allowing the parent to spend more time with the child. References Jessica Hemauer (2011) Farm Girl. In Roen, D, Glau, and Maid,B (Eds) The McGraw-Hill Guide Writing for college, Writing for life. (Pg. 113-117) Boston, MH: Mcgraw Hill P. Barrett, R. (2000). Assigned chores help teach social, personal responsibility. Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 16(6), 1.
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