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Summary – Speaking of Children | Magic of Words

Unit-2: Men, Women and Children

Chapter-2: Speaking of Children [Barbara Holland]

Summary

Barbara Holland supports the view of having a single child for a happy life. Through her essay ‘Speaking of children’, she suggests all give birth only one child for a happy family. Barbara says that one child is like an organ of own baby. It is a part of life. A single child can be easily handled and looked after. The husband and wife can easily move a single child. They can maintain family expenses very well. Barbara says that more than one child is a way of life.

More children need more care, time and money. So, parents do not live their life for own self rather life for children. They do not get time to enjoy the weekend. They have to go to bed late at night. On the one hand family expense increases and on the other there are always quarrels in a family. When children grow old, hardly parents get a chance to use the telephone. Barbara Holland argues that for a happy life, husband and wife should talk in secret about their whole day activities. But, if there is more than one child, parents never get a chance to talk in secret.

Always children disturb them. Later they have to follow written form. But when the children become able to read and write, the husband and wife can only talk on the telephone in-office hours. Hence, Barbara Holland boldly advocates for having only one child to live a happy and comfortable life. More than one child is not only an economic burden but also psychological stress.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mention the reasons why Barbara Holland is not in favor of having plural children?

The feeling of Barbara Holland regarding plural children is not good. She expresses her irritation to them by means of talking about the advantages of having a single child and the disadvantages of having many children. She believes that one child is an appendage but more than one is a way of life. One child is outnumbered and parents can brainwash it, carry it to parties, toss it on the bed with the coats and make it whatever they want. It is usually easy to look after one child. It is a part of their lives. Her feeling to the plural children is conveyed through these points of her favor to the single child. The essay is ironic in nature.

Expressing her feeling about having plural children she writes plural children are a counter-culture in the house. Parents are outnumbered by the children. In other words, parents must accept or do something they do not want but they are compelled to do certain undesired things. They have to buy many toy sets and they cannot go to the weekend where they like. They have to move to better schools for their children. They have to be involved in many social converse/ talk/ discussion. They are pushed backward. Above all, they have to lose peace and privacy because they are frequently interrupted by their children.

Then, there is a bitter look in every one. When there is secrecy, they have to talk on the phone from their office. In this way, the children will not let the parents talk peacefully and privately. Even the plural children can become a real danger for a family because many marriages break up in America just due to the children. As a whole, mothers of plural children have no peace in their life. They have to sleep with startling suddenness and finality or determination. So, this essay is against having many children. Thus, Barbara Holland expresses her feeling about the plural children by talking both about a single child and plural children. She only points out the disadvantages of having plural children in the essay which convinces her readers that her feeling towards them is no positive.

2. Why is Barbara Holland in favor of a single child?

Barbara Holland’s powerful essay mentions the advantages of having plural children. She doesn’t talk about the advantages of having plural children though there may be some. Elaborating the disadvantages of having plural children, she says having many children in the house is certainly a matter of burden. They disturb the privacy between husband and wife without letting them chances of private talk related to their job, income, business and their experiences of their duty and so on. Barbara says plural children are a counter-culture in the house. Parents are outnumbered by the children. In other words, parents must accept or do something they do not want but they are compelled to do certain undersized things. They have to buy many toy sets and they cannot get to the weekend where they like.

They have to move to better schools for their children. They have to be involved in many social converse/ talk/ discussion. They are pushed backward. Above all, they have to lose peace and privacy because they are frequently interrupted by their children. Then there is a bitter look in every one. When there is secrecy, they have to talk on the phone from their office. In this way, the children will not let the parents talk peacefully and privately. Even the plural children can become a real danger for a family because many marriages break up in America just due to the children. As a whole, mothers of plural children have no peace in their life. They have to sleep with startling suddenness and finality or determination.

Long Answer Questions

The author “Barbara Holland” seems worried about losing her peace, privacy and loneliness rather than the financial burden plural children may bring in the family. Explain.

The author “Barbara Holland” seems worried about losing her peace, privacy and loneliness rather than the financial burden plural children may bring in the family. To justify this statement, she presents the problems of having plural children in the family. All the problems are associated with the parent’s happiness. Barbara says that more than one child is a way of life. More children need more care, time and money. So, parents do not live their life for own self rather live for children. They do not get time to enjoy the weekend. They have to go to bed late at night. When children grow older, parents hardly get a chance to use the telephone. Barbara Holland argues that for a happy life, husband and wife should talk in secret about their whole day activities.

But, if there is more than one child, parents never get a chance to talk in secret. Always children disturb them. Later they have to follow written form. But when the children become able to read and write, the husband and wife can only talk on the telephone in-office hours. But on the other hand, the husband and wife relation is not disturbed in case there is a single child. Barbara says that one child is like an organ of own baby. It is a part of life. A single child can be easily handled and looked after. The husband and wife can easily move a single child. They can maintain family expenses very well. Thus, more than the economic burden, the plural children in the family disturb the peace, privacy, and loneliness of the parents.

2. Write a newspaper article on “The Advantages of Having a Single Child”.

In Nepal, we have still not started thinking that the numbers of children in the family determine happiness. We think still today more the hands more the income and the children are the god’s gifts. We are not aware of the quality of life and the meaning of happiness. Actually more the children more problems the parents face. Quite opposite to that, the parents of a single child are benefited in a number of ways. They have a less economic burden, individual freedom, and healthy married life. Thus, there are many advantages to having a single-family.

When there is only one child, it is outnumbered by the parents. In other words, the parents control the child. But if there is more than one child, the children control the parents. It’s not only that. There are many other advantages of a singular child. The parents can brainwash a single child. They can teach the child all sorts of good things including good discipline and good manners. The parents can provide many things to the child. They can buy all types of things that are required to develop the creative faculty of their child. And more than that, the parents live their life fully and freely. They have peace and privacy. they are themselves but not the strangers. One child doesn’t disturb the life of the parents and it is an appendage. The parents can live freely and happily. They can make him/ her whatever they like easily. A single child is easy to care for and bring up. There are good chances of peace, privacy, happy family and a free environment in the family.

Similarly, a single child in the house can never be a matter of burden. It is obvious that it is quite hard for the parents to provide proper care and affection equally for all children. Consequently, the children are abided by a good education, proper health care, and other facilities, which are the key components for the overall development of children’s’ personalities. But in the case of single child, they can give everything he wants, be it education or entertainment. In a sense, they needn’t worry all the time for its future prospects as well as to satisfy its unsuitable demands of hunger and enjoyment. He doesn’t make the house dirty, create unnecessary noise.

To sum up, there are many expenses to having plural children. A single child is like the appendage of our body. Time has changed; our living standards should also be changed. We can make a lot of difference in promoting our living standard simply by controlling the number of children. Both the parents and child are advantaged in the case of a single child. Thus, this is a time to change our traditional and religious eastern thoughts of having many children into the idea of having a single child.

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