Generation gap is a particularly common issue in the western culture and it has been an issue of concern in the last decades; the main argument in the film revolves around “keeping communication lines open” (Manohla 1). The gap results from differences between the older generations and their young ones. This is common between parents and children especially after the two parties live without having personal contact. The key source of this issue is poor communication between generations. I came up with the discussion concerning generation gaps because it is a vice responsible for massive alienation among families in the western countries following the growing multiculturalism. Generation differences have been an issue for years, but it has reached intolerable levels in this postmodern period. Most areas affected by this change are music tastes, politics, culture, and fashion. The discussion regarding generation differences is common in both the film and the article as we can see some difference between parents and their children after a long period of separation.
The film Tiny Furniture is a film examining the issue concerning generation gaps in families. This results from differing communication lines; “Aura thinks things may be turning around for her” (Manohla 2). The film revolves around a case where a girl leaves home and comes back after four years of schooling. The family welcomes her, which is a tradition in every community after a long period of separation. During this period, it is obvious that the girl assumed the culture among other ways of doing things in her previous destination. It becomes difficult to hides ones identity in this situation having in mind that she has already reached maturity age. One of the challenging issues after her arrival is concerning the time to wake up. It is common sense that after dawn, one should rise and start attending to his or her duties or even plan one or the other. However, it is not also detrimental to fail to wake up early as far as you are not ignoring your duties. This is not understandable by most parents, as they want to build their children in a spirit of hard work. The abstract between the parties is communication, as this will create a basis where they will understand each other.
Most campus students find going out being part and parcel of their life. This is quite different in relation with the interpretation from parents. They view out going as an immoral activity, which should be discouraged under all cost; “she goes to a party and reconnects with Charlotte” (Manohla 1). They fail to understand or interpret it from a young generation view, where they view it as a way of socializing and relaxing after a long week of schoolwork among other commitments. In reference with the film, this idea kills her morale as it vied as a vice; it immensely disappoints her and alienates her spirit. In these instances, people find themselves confused as far as doing justice to different parties is concerned. However, this maybe a difficult task as it will be hiding one’s identity. The best solution to breaking communication differences, as this will enhance a healthy relationship despite cultural differences between parties; if Aura in the film had open communication lines with the mother, there would be no conflicts as far as different practices are concerned.
The article, Generations is about the two generations that exist in America because of immigration. The first generation consists of the immigrants who entered America from “Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin Americans” while the second generation consists of their children who were born in America (George & Trimbur 42). The two generations share biological relationships together with other older generations. However, there is a gap in the way of life or the culture of the two generations. The difference comes in terms of the commitment of the two generations towards the traditions and customs set by their ancestors.
It is common for individuals to fall in different generations even in the contemporary world. There are two basic categories that an individual must fall in order to be considered a member of a generation; “the so old fashion” and post-modern generation (George & Trimbur 44). To begin with, the individual must belong to a family that shares the same biological relationship. People who share common experiences and history also fall under the same generation. Change is the best definition of a generation because it describes new ways of approaching life and performing tasks. The generation gap exists in terms of the two generations having different approaches to issues relating to culture and the normal way of living. For instance, in America it is common for the second generation to regard the first generation as an old-fashioned one.
In any society, it is extremely easy to identify the differences between generations by even looking at the way they relate to each other. This is why “each generation introduces its own way of communicating” (George & Trimbur 43). Young people in all societies have their own language that distinguishes them from other generations. The young people will listen to music and play games that are different from those of the old. However, people confuse generations by looking at the individuals who share the same traits. A generation is not just a product of a group of people coming together, but rather a combination of race, culture, and ethnic connections (George & Trimbur 50).
The difference between generations is not a factor of age or cultural differences between individuals. The difference comes in because of the different approach to race and culture that different generations have; “generation is not a monolithic thing” (George & Trimbur 47). These differences are factors of the influence of history on generations. The traits that a certain generation has are the results of the influence of culture and gender. This explains why a daughter raised by her mother under the same cultural setting will have different behaviors with her mother. The family is also responsible for shaping the differences between generations.
Politics also influences generation gaps between individuals; “the World War invested its hope in the new generation” (George & Trimbur 44). Racism and ethnic divisions accounted for the actions of most generations in the past. However, in the contemporary world, there are a number of factors that affect the actions of different generations. Some of these factors are results of the influences of technology and the media in shaping the actions of individuals. A generation consists of individuals who have different beliefs and practices just like the society, which comprises of individuals with different beliefs (George & Trimbur 87). However, members of the same generation share common features in the way they talk and communicate with each other. The environment and exposure affect our behavior as well as our relationship with others. Interaction between individuals in the same age bracket but of different ethnic or cultural values instills values in individuals that are different to those of the family. This is particularly true in the film Tiny Furniture. The years of schooling that the girl undergoes shape her behavior in a way that differs with that of her family. This is enough evidence that exposure and environment are also factors that lead to generation gaps.
George, Diana & Trimbur, John. “Generations.” Contexts for Critical Reading and Writing. 2004, 43- 102.
Manohla, Dargis. Tiny Furniture: Girl Undefined: Post-College but Pre-Real World. Retrieved on 24th November 2012. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/movies/12tiny.html?_r=0