Last week during our Butler’s Daughter’s class, the discussion had touched on how many science fiction novels, especially young adult genre, has had an absent of parents or the parents were present but did not have an active role or any clue to what their children were doing. Although Professor Tananarive Due’s novel My Soul to Take and the whole series before this last fourth novel, incorporate the parents of Fana, Dr. Stanley pointed out how in culture popular science fiction novels, such as the Twilight, does not include active parents in the protagonist’s life if it is a coming of age story for a young teen/adult. I thought this would be a great topic to blog about after hearing a discussion on the radio about single parents, particularly single mothers raising young males, who do not know how to motivate their children. One mother discussed how her son, a high-schooler, told her that he did not like school and wish he did not have to. Many parents send their children to school and expect the school system to teach them and motivate them but doesn’t these values need to be instilled in the home first?
In regards to Due’s novels, Fana’s parents are present in her life and also try to steer her to make the right decisions and keep her out of harm’s way however they do not control her life and let her makes her own decisions. I am very family oriented myself and when I left my home in New Jersey to come to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Spelman College, I slightly felt like I was being dropped off in an unknown world but I had to remember that I made this decision and that my parents will be there for me even if they are miles away. My mother’s words of encouragement kept me strong first semester although I cried when she left for the airport after New Students’ Orientation. It was her endless support, words of encouragement, and constant reminder of how proud she was of me that motivated me to keep striving to do my best.
Now as a graduating senior, I appreciate that Due composed a storyline of a young female protagonist who was trying to find herself and live her life but still had her parents through it all. Fana says, “A CHILD’S HAPPINESS SPREADS TO THE PARENTS” (242) and with this quote, I believe that if parents took the time to find out what their children wanted out of life or they showed them what they can get out of life if they work hard and continue to dream and believe in themselves then they would be able to find a way to motivate them down that path without forcing them into something they do not want to do.