"The Shelter of Each Other" by Mary Popher.

Essay by hai2i2ydatCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2003

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Critical Review of a Boring Reading

"Has American culture during the 1990s been too difficult for many families to handle?" In The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding our Families, author Mary Pipher argues yes, American culture during the 1990s has been too difficult for many families to handle. Pipher tries to sympathize with families' effort to survive a difficult era and connects family problems to larger cultural forces. She expresses that the loss of old-fashioned communities is due to the rise of an electronic community and a consumer mentality, and the influence of popular psychology. Pipher mentions many good arguments but not all are true. There are still many families today who sit down and have dinner together, and who communicate with one another. For instance, my family would be called old-fashioned, we all communicate very well, we know the names of our neighbors, and we have family dinners 5-7 times a week.

Mary Pipher makes clear her opinion on technology. She would not argue that any tool is bad and should be eliminated; she thinks it is the whole pile that is the problem. "Tools have been added to our lives, one at a time, and we have not been terribly conscious of the psychological effects of all this technology. We've slowly absorbed each change and been changed in the process." (Pipher 11). Pipher explains that technology has been in introduced to us one at a time, so we have not realized the large amount of change that has occurred. Pipher also explained how technology has changed our family lives as well. "Now it's a world about talk shows, cable television, e-mail, nanoseconds, microwave meals, celebrities and other people far away getting rich." (Pipher 11). Life used to be about Sunday dinners, relatives, card parties, church, school and...