A Summer to Die is a fictional novel

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Introduction

A Summer to Die is a fictional novel revolving around a family comprising of two sisters namely Molly and Meg and their parents.  The sisters exhibit two contrasting character traits as well as ambition. Notably, Meg, who is the chief protagonist and the story narrator, gets engrossed in Art and photography while her sister Molly has an ambition in becoming a respectable mother in the future (Lowry & Oliver, 1977). Meg envies her sister for being more beautiful than her and therefore the two often engage in petty quarrels now and then. Their father, who is a university professor, seeks a one year leave to write a book which he claims would take the world by storm. The family therefore resorts to moving out of their town dwelling to the countryside where their mother claims would provide a suitable environment for their dad to write his book. The two sisters are however upset by the new arrangement and therefore protest over the issue. The parents manage to convince the two sisters to move to the new house in the countryside. Apart from Meg’s jealousy against her sister Molly, the family enjoys warm relationship among themselves as well as with the other people. For instance, their father continues to receive students as visitors even when he is on leave. However, Molly’s health deteriorates after moving to the countryside and she finally succumbs to her illness believed to be leukemia. Consequently, Meg starts to feel the love she had for her late sister which couldn’t suffice earlier due to a heightened jealous she grew against Molly (Lowry, & Oliver, 1977).

Family constellation

It is no doubt that Molly was a very calm, self-confident, pretty, easygoing and a downright and therefore her death did not only left a permanent void in her family but also in the lives of other people especially family friends. At the outset, Meg started to feel the pinch of missing her sister when Molly was fighting for her life in the hospital. She persistently asked her dad why it had to be Molly and not her who got infected with the dreaded disease despite her positive character traits (Lowry & Oliver, 1977). Molly’s death made Meg realize the deep love she had for her sister which was suppressed by her worsened jealousy against Molly. Moreover, the parents realize how important Molly was to the family before her death. Meg’s mother recalls of the behavior of both the kids while still young especially Molly’s whose character traits is likened to that of her mother. All the family members therefore miss Molly upon her death thereby necessitating grief in the family (Lowr & Oliver, 1977).

Rules, Roles and Boundaries

The rules and boundaries of the family were very negligent. To begin, Meg and molly were left to decide on what they wanted to pursue without involving their parents. This is exemplified in the sisters’ decision to pursue different ambitions in school For instance; Meg was so obsessed with photography that she never cared for other class lesions (Shapiro, 1994).

Molly on the other hand, stayed focus in school in an attempt to achieve her dreams of becoming the best mother. However, the father is strict on some issues notably priorities. Meg’s father turns down Molly’s dreams of cheerleading due to the fact that Molly astonishes him with the recent increases in the number of boy friends visiting Molly. He argues that such activities are not of high priority compared to other things. In essence, Chalmers set limits within which such behavior would be tolerated. The mum on the other hand is strict on how the gals’ dress code (Boss, Doherty, & LaRossa, 2008). Meg argues that her mum doesn’t get Molly putting eye shadow because of her young age of fifteen. The aforementioned rules and limits provide suitable behavior guide to family members who thereafter turn to be socially upright people. Consequently, the behaviors may be used to carry out grief assessment. For instance, Meg’s behavior after the death of Molly such as changes in academic performance since the death occurred may be utilized in grief assessment in an attempt to design a faster healing process (Shapiro, 1994).

Family dynamics

The Chalmers’ family comprised of two little sisters of minor ages to0gether with their parents who lived in the town side before leaving for a one year vacation to the countryside. The family was highly blended with Molly; aged 15 and Meg who is 13years of age who contribute highly to the wellbeing of the family. For instance, Molly brought inspiration to the family due to her self-confidence, as well as calmness character traits. She interacted with her peers easily with inclusion of Meg. Besides, she interacted well with her parents. The studious Megs also achieved in photography thereby contributing to the wellbeing of the family. Generally, children are expected to respect their parents in addition to adhering to the rules and regulations existing in a firm (Boss, Doherty, & LaRossa, 2008).

On the other hand, the character traits of Molly are said to be in line with her mother’s while Meg has similar characters with her father. These alignments have shaped the family to be what it is. The father is entitled to ensure that rules and regulations are adhered to in addition to providing leadership of that family. Their mother on the other hand is mandated to ensuring that the behavior in relevance to their gender and age is highly upheld. For instance, Meg argues that Molly was not allowed to use eye shadow at the age of fifteen. Apart from the character traits of the two sisters, their father Chalmers was a humble and loving teacher as exemplified in the heightened number of students paying him visits eve when he is out of school on leave (Boss, Doherty,  & LaRossa, 2008). However, the relationship between the two sisters was sour as Meg got more and more jealous with Molly due to her beauty. This transpired even while Molly was on the hospital bed. The death of Molly however brought great changes to the entire family. Meg for instance realized the value of Molly after her death and therefore started loving and missing her calm and loving sister. Both the parents too missed Molly as evident in their words. The communication system within the family was fluent except that between Molly and Meg as witnessed in various occasions in the book. This too changed after the death when the family relocated back to the city (Boss, Doherty,  & LaRossa, 2008).

Stage in the family lifecycle

Chalmers’ family is in the fourth stage of the family life cycle where families with adolescents are categorized. To begin with, the transition of emotions in this category is not easy for a whole family as the family’s boundaries should be flexible enough to encompass the children’s independence. The parent-child relationship should also be changed to allow the adolescents to enter and exit the system. At the ages of thirteen and fifteen, the two sisters are treated as adolescents hence the categorization of the fam.............


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