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The Film “Avalon” by Barry Levinson and Points of View of Changes Inside American Family Essay

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Updated: Dec 6th, 2021

Family is an essential part of our life. People are born in families, grow up there, and then built their own families and so on. Family is the main institution in the society. People regard families, as it is the most desirable thing for everybody. Family’s aim is to be worth of the society, to bread up children and to take them into this society. The world changes and the family traditions change, change people’s attitude to family, but still family is honorable and sacred.

The film “Avalon” by Barry Levinson is a great example of changes which occur in American family in the last half century. The film is about Jewish Sam Krichinsky’s family. Sam moved to Baltimore. He makes his family there and tries to keep it together. But children grow-up and he cannot control them any more. The family ties become weaker.

Such problem can be seen in many families, especially immigrated ones. Families with their own traditions come to America for so called American dream. They lead their lives from poverty to prosperity, they assimilate to local citizens. Many young people, like in “Avalon”, Americanize names, they forget their family roots. It is not a problem for young generations, but it is a problem for older ones.

Generation gap is a very serious aspect in people’s life, especially talking about family traditions. Old generation used to keep their traditions, family circle meetings are an essential part of family life, in their point of view. They hold sacred all their customs and try to give them to younger generation, as Sam Krichinsky does. Young generation loses their family ties, and old generations try as hard as they can to keep them.

Sam tells the story of his immigration to America to his grandson, always hearing from his wife, “How many times do we need to hear that story”. Many grandfathers, as Sam, love to share their experience and knowledge with younger generation. It was said a great phrase by Sam in the film, “If you stop remembering – you forget.” And this quote as nothing else shows us the old generation’s attitude to the family traditions and customs.

Talking about changes in family attitude we cannot but mention the outside factors which are direct causes of these changes. One of these causes is television. Television substitutes everything, especially communication. Youth forgot how communication inside family is important. It is really a success when all family after hard work comes home, sits at the dinning table and discusses the day, the problems and the ways of solving them. Modern families do not do this. Parents sometimes do not know where their children are and what they do, their likes and dislikes, their friends. All these unknowing lead to social problems.

Parents do not pay much attention on their children because of the work. It becomes difficult to balance family and work. It is important for parents to give financial satisfaction to their children than spiritual. They are working hard to be able to give their children all they want, from the financial point of view and forget about their soul.

Love is one more aspect which has changed with the changing of American family. It was romantic, devoted love before. Now it appeals to be consensual love. Parents are loosing their leading parts in family structure. Children do not honor them any more in that way, how it was at the beginning of 1900’s. There is no so devoted and blinded love to family members as it was before. Consensual love gives more freedom to family members and very often this freedom is extra, it ruins relationships inside the family.

The values have changed for many families. If people regarded family as the most valuable thing in not so distant past, so now family comes on the last place after friends, work, and other hobbies. People valued and regarded family, parents, relationships inside the family at the beginning of the last century but not now.

People used to the thought that family is something social, public. Nowadays people do not regard family as something sacred and personal. They used to wash their dirty linen in public and do not shame of it. Family quarrels become an essential part of public life, especially if to speak about famous people who try to make their reputation with the help of media.

The ideology of the family has changed. It is not a surprise to see a working woman, or a man who is busy in domestic life. The divorce is also not a problem today. People get married, divorce and think that all that is a norm of life. It is possible to save half of divorced families, but people think it is not important, and they continue to ruin family traditions and ideology that were built for many ages.

So, American family has changed recently. The relationships inside the family become more conservative and at the same time more distant. Young generation forgets about their family traditions and customs and it leads to misunderstanding with old generation. “Avalon” by Barry Levinson is a film, which shows us the most prominent aspects of family changes, which led to forgetting the roots, the customs and traditions inside the family.

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IvyPanda. "The Film “Avalon” by Barry Levinson and Points of View of Changes Inside American Family." December 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-avalon-by-barry-levinson-and-points-of-view-of-changes-inside-american-family/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Film “Avalon” by Barry Levinson and Points of View of Changes Inside American Family." December 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-avalon-by-barry-levinson-and-points-of-view-of-changes-inside-american-family/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Film “Avalon” by Barry Levinson and Points of View of Changes Inside American Family'. 6 December.

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