12 May 2015
What is Fulfillment?
While reading, We Were the Mulvaneys freedom was a theme that was prevalent throughout the novel, in not only the way that the main character Judd spoke of his family dynamic, but also within each family member searching to be free of the constraints of the every day family. Freedom is a something that all the Mulvaneys struggle with throughout the novel in their own ways, because of the internal secrets that are kept. “No privacy at High Point Farm” (16). Judd speaks on the idea of the lack of privacy that occurs while in the family, this idea of no privacy coincides with the reoccurring theme of the lack of freedom that occurs in the Mulvaneys home. The longing for freedom that occurs within each of the members of the Mulvaney family, can be seen as something that is far away, because they have no privacy in their personal or public lives. Everyone in the town knows of the Mulvaneys, and it forces them to be a picture perfect family, instead of allowing each member of the family to be their own person. But with the lack of privacy due to the fact that the Mulvaneys were such a much known family, they have to alter themselves in order to fit the idea that other people thought of them. “For a long time you envied us, then you pitied us” (page 3). The Mulvaney family was known by many people throughout the town that they lived in, and this alters the way that they can be. The Mulvaneys cannot fully even be human, because they have to make sure that they are the upstanding family that the public sees them as. But without allowing the family to grow on their own, secrets build up and slowly tear down the family, showing the importance of freedom in a family dynamic. “In a family, what isn't spoken is what you listen for. But the noise of a family is to drown it out.”(426). Secrets and image destroy the Mulvaney family, and the idea that no one in the family truly has a voice to speak about what they believe, captures their family in a bubble of secrecy. The Mulvaney family really doesn’t have any aspect of freedom, even though they live far from the town, they are still secluded within themselves, because of their lack in ability to challenge themselves to step outside of the walls of High Point Farm, and step into being an individual. The need for freedom in my life relates to the novel, We Were the Mulvaneys because freedom allows me to feel like I can make my own decisions and be able to live my life the way I choose, without having to worry about social stigmas. I come from a family who also doesn’t have a lot of privacy, and it forces lying, due to the fact that some things just don’t always have to or need to be said. Just like the Mulvaney family, secrets are kept due to the lack of privacy in the family and the idea that being unique will crush the dynamic of family. In my family, there was always an underlying lack of true acceptance in the family, because we had an “image” to uphold. My father very rarely allow my brother and me to branch out of our comfort zones if it did not lead to us being successful. This lack of uniqueness that comes with a family, is also found in the Mulvaney family, and just like Michael Sr., my father would always stress the importance of being a family. Within this small family, I found myself feeling trapped, and losing the idea of myself and who I wanted to be. I became a person who only did things to make my dad proud, and trying so hard to feel accepted by him, while slowly shedding pieces of myself each time I did this. Its hard work to keep up appearances, and the Mulvaney family member Judd defies that, which is why I believe that I relate mostly to Judd. Judd always tried to be a part of the family, mainly due to the fact that he really didn’t know what he wanted or who he wanted to be. Just like Judd, I too am very honest, and believe in telling the truth no matter what, which Judd and I