October 4, 2008
Analytical Response to Barbara Kingsolver’s “Stone Soup”
Barbara Kingsolver’s “Stone Soup” is a personal response to society’s view of the “broken” family. Kingsolver believes that society has for too long criticized divorce, remarriage, single parenthood, gay parents, and blended families, and that alternative families deserve equal standing in our society. In response to reading Kingsolver’s essay, this paper will serve to show which parts of “Stone Soup” are supported by outside evidence and which are not. “Stone Soup” is a personal reaction by Barbara Kingsolver that expresses the author’s feelings in response to society’s negative view and it’s holding of contempt of divorced, remarried, single parenthood, and gay parents. The author herself is a divorced parent and feels outraged at the notion that her family, according to society, is classified as “broken” or “failed” (Kingsolver 7). She begins her essay with an anecdote of a child scoring a winning goal during a soccer game; the child looking at the bleachers, where he is praised by his mother and her friends – Kingsolver included, his brother, his father and stepmother, a stepbrother and stepsister, and a grandparent. Kingsolver follows the anecdote with a threat: “I dare anybody to call this a broken home” (Kingsolver 1). This statement clearly exposes her feelings of the structure of family to the reader, and shows her limited tolerance for critical and judging views of the “finished” family. Furthermore, Kingsolver is critical at the fact that our culture is quick to diagnoses “consequent reshaping of families,” as “failing” (Kingsolver 16). Kingsolver also reveals to the reader her experience of divorce and the affect it had on her and her daughter, admitting to the reader her arrogant view of divorce prior to experiencing it herself and describing her prior beliefs as, “ignorance” (Kingsolver 9). Kingsolver’s essay is filled with personal opinions...
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