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Family in Beckett’s Genesis

March 18, 2011

Genesis - Bernard Beckett

Okay, so when writing about Bernard Beckett’s Genesis, I decided to focus on the way it encourages critical reading and I’m not going to explore how it deals with family … BUT I did find it interesting to read the novel in light of the fact that:

“Plato’s Republic, and to a lesser extent Laws, are famous for the idea that in an ideally governed society the nuclear family would be either abolished or severely limited.  Plato is struck by the way that families often serve as schools of selfishness and a competitive and hostile attitude to outsiders, and that this often closes off the spread of attachment to wider groups.”

How do families in YA Lit connect/distance young adults to/from wider groups?

How do families support the power structure/governing bodies of a society?

Certainly, there is very little community narrated into being around Anaxamander – and she turns out to have been mislead by the authorities all along!

Adam was supposed to be raised without a nuclear family (in accordance with the idea of Plato’s Republic).  BUT there is a passage somewhere in the novel where Beckett suggests that Adam’s mother went against this system… are we to learn that Adam was raised by his mother, unlike those around him, and then proved strong enough to stand forward in his community (risk his life for another human being and get imprisoned).

(PS I cut things from one document to the next and lose references all the time when I’m more interested in the idea than the quote – oops in this case! Perhaps from Annas’ Introduction to Plato?)

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