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Unformatted text preview: Jessica Simmons March 17 th , 2008 Marianne Triale English Composition Its a Wonderful Life A family to most is a rather complex unit. In Henry Louis Gates Jr.s Down to Cumberland, from his memoir Colored People (1994), he describes the distance between his two families and the sporadic funeral occasions that unite his entire family into one. Though Id see my Coleman uncles, aunts, and cousins all together at our annual family reunions and up the hill at Big Moms house on Christmas, I saw the Gates on only two occasions, and those were my grandparents funerals. As an introduction into the world of Gates, this excerpt displays his personal thoughts and the rarities involved in seeing his closest relatives. When describing these funerals, Gates explains the feelings of intimacy involved in these gatherings. Gates alludes to the fact that in this short period of time, he learns more through sepia toned photographs and talking to his other extended family members for a few minutes than he has in his entire existence. I can relate to Gates thoughts and feelings in this particular quotation because ever since that chilly and wet November afternoon when I found out that my Aunt Leah and Uncle Tony were getting a divorce, Christmas has never been the same. And even though there might be a development or adjustment within ones family, the bond a family shares can never be altered. Soccer practices, football games, play rehearsals and art classes. Growing up, the consistency of running around and having no time for any type of lavish dinner was the standard of living at my house. With two full-time and extremely diligent parents, there was an absence of sitting down for dinner to discuss and listen to each others day. The occasional Sunday night dinner where the family could relax and sit down for a longer period of time was rare and notable for ending quite heated. Starting off with my father, a middle-aged man with salt and pepper hair and my mother, a petite woman with dark Spanish eyes and skin that is admired by many; my family could be considered your typical workaholics with multiple activities and just enough time to crash into bed around 10:30 pm. To say that we are busy is an understatement, but even with a full schedule we still take enough time to enjoy one anothers company. Mainly, one time a year my extended family unites and enjoys a sit down dinner full of discussion and blessings. That may sound oddly unorthodox to the stereotypical Pleasantville family, but to me its home....
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Mariannetriale during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.
- Spring '08