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It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child

            In my paper I will illustrate my perception of the connection between the two stories read; that of Barbara Kingsolver titled Stone Soup and the other by Rigoberta Menchu titled Birth Ceremonies. Both stories brought forth to my mind the old proverb; it takes a whole village to raise a child; each describes how beneficial it is for children to be raised in an environment where there is an entire support system that includes more than the nuclear family structure. .
             Kingsolver discusses the "broken home" (127) due to divorce and the children whom are a product of this one time "happy union" (128), which are now referred to as "children of divorce" (128). Her story expresses distain towards people whom are not open-minded to "non-traditional families"(130). As I continued to read I felt as though what she was really communicating was how children flourish in a family that is extended due to one of the following reasons; a family divided due to a divorce, where later one or both parents remarry and both the husband and the wife in the new relationship have children from a previous relationship, or the large extended multi-generational family that lives under one roof like the family of the Depression era (132). The last two examples she used to describe extension of family are true examples of community support within the modern society; the single parent homes where the support system of grandparents and neighbors becomes "the rock-bottom definition of family" (133) or the married couples who have "embraced the relief of community" (133) by incorporating other adults into their childcare routines. Ultimately, the dynamics within each family situation have increased the circle of people involved in the child's upbringing.
             Menchu explains the significance of the birth of a child in the Indian community (148). This event is so important that the unborn child is welcomed as a new member from the time the parents announce to the village leaders that they have conceived.

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