"Beliefs About Families" (Summary and Analysis).
In "Beliefs About Families" by Mary Pipher tells us that not all families are biological, many of them are "formed" which means some families are forms of extended family, friends, and groups that share common interests. Pipher explains that some biological families are separated by abuse or abandonment that leaves members of that family to find love and help elsewhere. Also, she tells us that families are formed by groups of interest like a family of musicians or gays. There are many different forms of families, such as foster families, bi-racial families, multigenerational families, and single-parent families. Pipher enlightens us on how Americans see families as two different types: ideal or dysfunctional. The idealized holds an abundance of love, loyalty, and happiness where the dysfunctional family holds many lies and deceit. Pipher explains at the end of the essay that the society we live in today is more concerned with money than family ties. .
Pipher's purpose of writing this essay is to explain the different types of families. She is informing everyone of many societal problems such as; alcoholism, talk shows, movies, selling harmful products to children, rudeness, money, and a lack of responsibility are destroying families. All of these examples can help portray families as useless impediments. Pipher is explaining how people are going by their ethnic rules rather than following the law. She tells us of a friend that does not want to go to a town meeting for the simple fact that people get out of control and insult her and each other. Pipher says that we have pushed our individual rights to the limit. .
The audience the author is writing to contains college students. The reason is because the essay "Beliefs About Families" comes from The Prose Reader: a thinking, reading, and writing book. The essay is meant for college students who are interested in building family structures and to help them learn to make their families better.