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Evening in Paradise


"Berlin's new book is a marvel, filled with deeply touching stories about lives ...
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Discuss Evening in Paradise by Lucia Berlin:
Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

Created: 11/04/19

Replies: 10

Posted Nov. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2245

Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?


Posted Dec. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeb

Join Date: 10/09/18

Posts: 28

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

Her account of getting in the food line at the Haddad house and then the hair brushing line was amusing.”kid logic” that would indicate that she felt adults looked at children as groups rather than individuals. It was also amazing that in her household the parenting style was “free range” enough to allow her to wander over the border and not be punished on her return. Seems children could have a work around for parental supervision since the supervisors were indoors more than the children. Berlin seems to be correct in this assumption.


Posted Dec. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 143

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

On the continuum from helicopter mom to totally free range mom, her characters tend more toward the second method of parenting. I feel like something between the two methods is best.


Posted Dec. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 423

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with her assessment; I think it depends. It certainly seems like she didn't have a lot of support from her parents, at least when she was younger.


Posted Dec. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lole

Join Date: 11/30/19

Posts: 25

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

The adults in Berlin's stories tend not to be careful with their children. In several stories the children are like small adults, figuring out how the world works on their own. Older children don't have particularly positive role models for the traditional functions of parenting--guiding and launching a child into adulthood. In many of the stories the children experience a sense of fun and freedom often with childish adults.

I have read passages from two of Berlin's sons, both stating that they had a wonderful childhood with her, as a loving, unconventional mother. Her father moved the family between mining towns, then to Texas when he was in the army, then to Chile where Lucia grew up. Her own mother was ill, a drinker. At 18 Lucia returned to the US, married a sculptor, had two boys, divorced. She married and divorced again. She then married Buddy Berlin, had two more sons, then divorced him. There are few references in her stories to her parents, which leads me to think they were physically and emotionally absent. She wrote, as we all do, from her own experiences.


Posted Dec. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 72

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

She definitely takes a laissez-faire attitude towards parenting. As for the children, they did seem to enjoy their freedom - as I assume Berlin enjoyed hers.


Posted Dec. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 285

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

The adults didn't seem very involved in the children's comings and goings. They were left to their own devices. I think that was more indicative of the time. Was it a more naive world then, or is it more dangerous now? I was more protective of my children then my parents were of me. Our neighborhood looked out for all the children— sort of "community parenting."


Posted Dec. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 57

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

The children in Berlin’s stories seem to live in a world fair removed from the adults. The children are often left to their own devices while the adults struggle with their own issues. Periodically, their two worlds collide. The children seem to be keen observers of the adults even if they don’t fully understand why adults behave as they do.


Posted Dec. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 224

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

The parents in the stories have a rather casual approach to parenting, which is partly indicative of the time when there weren't so may imminent dangers facing children. The children, on the other hand, seem to be keen observers of the world and because of the "Free range" parenting, the children have plenty of time and latitude to figure out how the world works. Somehow, many of the stories made me long for a simpler time, when children could be given more physical freedom without there being so much danger. Certainly I was allowed to do things alone or with friends that children today couldn't be allowed to do.


Posted Dec. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rivkahh

Join Date: 05/04/15

Posts: 22

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

Certainly wasn't my parenting style, though I wasn't a helicopter mom either. The relationships between adults and children in her stories seem somewhat distant in many cases.


Posted Dec. 23, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 136

RE: Based on her stories, how do you think Berlin views the relationships children have with the adults in their lives, including parents, aunts and guardians? Do you agree with her assessment?

While the parenting seems hands-off, it probably reflects not only her personal parenting style but also the style of the times. I can remember that my sister and I used to leave the house in the summer after breakfast and not return until dinner and our parents had no idea where we were. They were neither negligent or absent - times were different and children were more "free range" then.


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