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The Half-Life of Everything


A beautifully written and uplifting debut novel.
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Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

Created: 02/06/19

Replies: 10

Posted Feb. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. Are you different from your own siblings, or are you more similar? If you have children, do you see major differences in their personalities? What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together, by the same parents?


Posted Feb. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 496

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

Differences among children are so common that obviously "nurture" isn't the prime difference within families. Every child has a different mix of genes, and each choice that a child makes - from friends, to music, to homework done or not done is a catalyst for further shaping of differences.


Posted Feb. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 386

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

I have no idea. I have two grown boys. They are four years apart. One loved school got straight A’s and has a PHD in English. The other was more social in school got average grades and became a welder and owns his own business. They are both wonderful but both completely different. I enjoy their differences.


Posted Feb. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 47

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

Genes always win out over environment. My 3 grown sons have enough commonalties to keep them close, but they are totally diverse in the careers they have chosen. I do think that the author's portrayals of the boys (their behaviors, reactions, attitudes) was one of the most realistic parts of the book.


Posted Feb. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 124

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

Nurture vs. nature. As the grandmother of fraternal twins I know unequivocally that genetics win out over nurture. The differences in the two girls were apparent immediately. Now in their twenties, these differences in temperament and personality have remained steadfast. Until these twins came into our lives I always thought nurture was the strongest influence, I now know that while nurturing is vital basic traits are inborn.


Posted Feb. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teachlz

Join Date: 07/28/16

Posts: 50

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

I think that each child has their own personality, feelings and thoughts. That would account for Jack and Dylan responding in their own way to their mother's illness.


Posted Feb. 19, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 211

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

This sibling storyline could have been a much stronger part of the overall story. It was just brimming with possibilities but was somewhat neglected, I thought.


Posted Feb. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marks

Join Date: 02/25/19

Posts: 90

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

As other people pointed out above, one of my favorite parts of parenthood is the differences between my two grown children. They definitely have their similarities, but are more different than alike, and I wouldn't change a thing about either one of them. I also think it was a great way for the author to work in two different reactions to Kate's illness and the "unique" situation that evolves during her recovery. It would have been boring if their reactions (and lives) were the same.


Posted Feb. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kenanr

Join Date: 02/20/14

Posts: 36

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

While I agree with the other readers that clearly "Nature" is a big factor, I think that it is how we interpret the "Nurture" aspect that also shapes us, and where we are in our lives when we experience a specific event. For example, my brother and I were raised abroad for several years in elementary school, but I was 3 years older than he. I believe that my world view is a bit broader than his because I was older at the time and can remember things more clearly. I also had a little more life experience than he did (I know, laughable at a young age) and so that shaped my reactions to the situation. I think that Jack and Dylan were in different facets of their lives when their mom came back from the dead as it were. One just starting college - sowing oats, living in a group house and not in a serious relationship, while the other was past that - in a serious relationship and settling into adulthood. Of course that would frame their response to the new family dynamic.


Posted Feb. 28, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LeahLovesBooks

Join Date: 04/08/14

Posts: 69

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

Each child is wired differently. Then each has different friends. And each comes into their parents lives at a different point in their parents own development. It is so multi-factoral.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LeahLovesBooks

Join Date: 04/08/14

Posts: 69

RE: Jack and Dylan, though brothers, have different personalities and responded to their mother's illness in different ways. What do you think contributes to such different personalities in children raised together?

How do you think their Mom's recovery and its impact on the "adult" relationships impacts their views of relationships?


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