Blood Is Thicker Then Water

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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Family conflicts have affected us all but never could a conflict break up a family emotionally. There is a pattern in at least three of the stories from A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain. These stories show a pattern of struggle between family members. The stories all have the same cultural background but have a variety of family problems. In the "Letters From My Father", "Mr. Green", and "Crickets" from A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain all have conflicts between family members.

First, in the story "Letters From My Father" there is a struggle between father and daughter. The daughter, who lives in Vietnam, reads notes written by her father trying to get her out of Vietnam, which are filled with emotions and anger. After reading the notes she expected him to be this way. Later in the book she came to America with her mother and they get off the plane.

At this point she finally meets her dad. After he met with his wife ""¦he let go of [her] mother and he looked at [her] and suddenly he was making this little choking sound a kind of gacking in the back of his throat"¦[her] father's hands just fluttered before him"¦the hug he gave [her] was like I was soaking wet"¦"(71). The disappointment for her was he displayed all this emotion in the letters and barely hugged her in person. The idea behind this story is she wanted a more loving and emotional dad.

Second, "Mr. Green" is a story about a woman trying to deal with the life and death of her grandfather. The story is her growing up and living with her grandfather. She liked her grandfather, more or less he was kind and loved animals. He treated her great. The turn in the story is related to the family pet, "Mr. Green", the parrot and the death of her grandfather. Towards the end of her grandfathers life he was telling her how much she didn't matter because she was a girl and "how foolish [her][family members] sound. Chattering and Yammering. All women sound like that. [She] [Didn't] want to grow up sounding like all [those] foolish women, [did] [she]?"(26). After her grandfather died she took care of the family bird. The family bird starting sharing traits that her grandfather did from coughing to words he said, and to the attitude he had. Since her grandfather believed in reincarnation her thought is that he was reincarnated into "Mr. Green". Had this been that case she then had to learn to deal with him and his habits. At the end of the book she ended up putting the bird out of its misery because he pulled his feathers out and continued coughing.

Last, the story "Crickets" is about a father trying to get closer to his son but it doesn't go exactly as planned. The father tries to get closer to his son by teaching him a game he learned back in Vietnam. The game is "cricket man" or cricket fighting. This idea starts off okay. They find crickets and his son seems to be excited about the idea. The situation ends up not going so well. When " "˜oh, no' [his] son said with real force, and for a second [he] thought he had read [his] mind and shared my feeling, but [he] looked at him and he was pointing at the toes of his white sneakers "˜my Reeboks are ruined!'" he exclaimed. This is where his idea ends up going bad. The son holds a grudge because of it but it is soon resolved. He finds that his shoes can be washed and he reassures his father and the activity is continued. This story has a conflict but is resolved in a way so that everybody was content.

There are similarities of incidences of family struggles in the stories "Letters From My Father", "Mr. Green", and "Crickets" from the book A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain. The struggle between family members is both similar and different. Either the parent or the kid is upset with the way the other one is acting, behaving, or the way they are being treated. They all involve some kind of misunderstanding and that misunderstanding is eventually resolved. This is the reason that family members can never be split up emotionally while the reader might have our struggles a family they will forever be.