Reading Response to “Concerning Children”
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s essay “Concerning Children” she explains that people are temporarily children, and far more permanently (wo)men. She believes that when parenting a child, the key to molding him/her into a successful adult is not by making them 100% obedient and telling them to do things “because I said so”, but by telling them to do something and explaining why so they understand what they’re doing (Gilaman527-530).
Gilman writes this argument to help parents mold their children into the most sufficient adults. She wants them to be understand the difference between instilling obedience into their children and have them understand why they should or should not do something. Without the understandings of how things work the child will grow up with no initiative and will develop into a “mere book of orders” instead of a wise competent being.
Gilman uses imagery when explaining different types of children and how they behave in order to understand the distinctions between solely obedient children, and children who are competent and understand the way the world works around them (528-529). She uses a logical comparison when explaining why “because I tell you to do so” is not a legitimate reason to make your child do something. She explains that when teaching children arithmetic instead of telling them to write down certain numbers and letters and sayings that’s the way its done, you have to explain why that way its done so they understand it and willingly agree to follow those rules (529). She also uses logos and everyday experience when stating that a child will respond adequately when he/she has a reason to respect the commander; for example if your friend shrieks “Get up- quick” you will quickly obey (529). Gilman ends her argument by listing traits children who are raised to be strictly obedient possess and then follows the list with a rhetorical question “Are they the qualities we wish to develop...
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