Often conflict between parents and their children are used within young adult fiction stories in order to develop the plot in the specific way. Conflict between parents and their children is an everyday struggle that all families must face, it often leads to a life lesson in which both the parents and children learn something new. Within the short stories “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan and “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson this is precisely what has happened. In both pieces the conflict within the family (main character and parent) has resulted in a very negative way, as where the main character realizes his\her own mistakes and tries to own up to and resolve the situation and what it has become. In “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson the main character happens to have a second chance to clean up the mess that she has created, unlike the main character in the story “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan. The main character in this text loses his chance to patch things up with his father, and he will never get the chance to.
A similarity between “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson and “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan is both characters have trouble communicating with their parents, this is why the plot developed the way it did and where the main conflict started. In the text it says “And she wished her mom was there. She should have said yes when her mom called earlier and offered to come home.” The narrator said this when Chelsea (the main character) realized that she needed the help that her mother persistently offered, but Chelsea was dead set against needing the help of her mother. In Chelsea’s mind her mother wasn’t trying to help, she was trying to take over the role of Abigail’s (Chelsea’s baby) mother.
A similar event happens in the story “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan. It has been 3 long years since the main character in this text has spoken to his father all over a silly little miscommunication. The main character decides to call home and check in on his family specifically his father, this is when he learns the news of his father’s terminal cancer. In the text it says “I wanted to tell him I was sorry, but I decided to leave it for another time.” This turns out to be a fatal decision. Both “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson and “ Mothership Down” by Marty Chan the main characters both unknowingly make bad decisions by holding off on doing something that turns out to change the plot drastically.
Another similarity between “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson and “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan and how the conflict between parent and child develops the plot is both of the texts end in regretting something. In “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson Chelsea wanted to care for her baby on her own, when she realized that she could care for her baby all alone she experience a mental break down and screamed at her baby. Chelsea regrets not accepted the help that was offered to her by her mother. Evidence from the text that was found is “But a mom was supposed to know what to do when her baby cried. And she didn’t.” Chelsea feels as though she failed as a mother and she could have seriously injured her own baby. Maybe if she would have just accepted her mother’s help she wouldn’t have had the break down that she did.
She never would have yelled at her baby or experience the hatred towards herself and the baby as she did. Chelsea regretted the feelings that her baby made her feel if only she would have accepted the help that her mother offered to provide. Meanwhile in the story “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan the main character regretted not apologising to his father while his father was still alive and while the main character had the chance. In the text it states “dad died on a Thursday morning. I never got the chance to tell him.” Also it says “I realized that one person can make a difference if that person chooses to do nothing at all.”
The main character regrets not apologizing because he made a difference in a negative way, he now needs to live with the guilt of having too much pride as to apologise to his dying father, for not talking about how hurt he was that his father never stood up for him over his new old car to his friends. The two selections “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson and “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan tie together in developing the plot with the conflict between the man character and their parents because both main characters should have sucked up their pride and gave in to the fact that they were wrong.
A main difference between “Baby Love” y Kathy Stinson and “Mothership down” by Marty Chan is the parenting style chosen by the parent in both of the selections. The mother in the story “Baby Love” is suffocating her daughter (Chelsea) and her granddaughter (Abigail) with love so to speak. The mother continuously offers her help to Chelsea in the aid of raising her baby Abigail. An example of this is when the mother tried to bottle feed Abigail rather than Chelsea breast feed all the time. The mother also offered to stay home from work to help Chelsea care for her baby Abigail again. In the text it says “You wouldn’t be so tired if you’d let me give her a bottle once in a while.” And “But Lorraine said shed fill in for me till the end of the month.” The mother is very persistent in trying to help Chelsea with Abigail.
In the other story “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan the father of the main character doesn’t offer to help his son when he is looking for his father’s help. The main character’s friends are talking trash about his old new car that he bought and picked out by himself, and he wanted his father to stand up for his car but he never. This came directly from the text “I looked right at Dad, expecting him to say something. To help me out.” It also says “You know what he said instead? Beggars can’t be choosers.”
This very clearly made the main character furious. Towards the end of the story we find out in “Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson the mother tried helping out her daughter because she knows how hard it is to raise a baby, much like the story “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan we find out the father only done this to help his son out, the father thought his son could stand up for himself. These simple misunderstandings is how the plot was developed.
“Baby Love” by Kathy Stinson and “Mothership Down” by Marty Chan have many similarities and differences. Both contain parent/child conflict which develops the plot in the end of each story, both make you realize that in the long run both parents only wanted the best for their children even if it wasn’t clear to the children in the beginning.
Courtney from Study Moose
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