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Webster’s dictionary defines discipline as “[t]he practice of training individuals to obey rules or code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” We will be using the archetypes in the short story “The Charmer” written by Budge Wilson to explain and prove why disciplining your children will help them lead a successful life later on in the future. For this essay 3 archetypes will be used to express the importance of child discipline. The three archetypes that will be used are the prodigal son, the charmer, and the eternal child archetype. Considering Zack exhibits all three archetypes it is obvious that parents need to discipline their children so they can grow up into well-groomed adults.
Firstly, Zack displays the prodigal son archetype, Zack clearly follows the biblical story of a wayward son that asks for his inheritance early, leaves home and returns to repent for his actions. Children who are not disciplined often become spoiled and they will ask and receive money then use it on useless things which will result in them coming back for more. Zack is constantly forgiven for all his mistakes with no punishment.Zack would take the family car even when it was needed.”[h]e was forever taking off in the family car, just as we were needing it to go to the hospital. But mom forgave him…’he’s sensitive’ she’d say ‘He’s taking it hard and he can’t face what’s ahead for us. This is his way of coping, he’s probably suffering more than the rest of us ‘Suffering my foot, I thought’ (Wilson 104). Zack did wrong and his mom was always making excuses for him. Zack has gotten in so much trouble and of course was forgiven for it. At 16 one night Zack was coming home late from a poker game and he crashed the family car and got no clear consequences. Zack Is also seen as the favourite kid. When Zack ate his mother’s cake that was made for the church he got another piece while Winnifred and her sisters had to clean up and wash the dishes so their mother can make another cake. The prodigal son archetype is present in undisciplined children.
In addition, Zack exhibits the charmer archetype. Zack is fun irresistible and a smooth operator, but he is not responsible or dependable. Many kids that are not disciplined often use their charm to get out of many trouble some situations they get themselves into. They also always have to have stuff done for them. In the short story Zack uses his charms to get people to forgive him no matter what. When his mom was upset with him for eating the cake that was meant for the church he complemented her on wonderful the cake tasted and he loves flowering her with complements. Also in the story Zack gambles a lot and he does not work hard because he Is used to getting his way with little to no effort.”[i]f he said, ‘[h]ow [about] you wash my bike for me, Posie, love?’ I would be half way to the kitchen for a bucket and rags before he stopped speaking…” (Wilson 101) one of many examples of Zack getting something done for him with no effort. All he had to do was call Winnifred “Posie”. Zack has been known to go rogue, he would often take the family car for hours at a time. When Lizzie passed away Zack disappeared for four days straight and no one knew his whereabouts. When he returned he made his mother pity him and he begged for her forgiveness with his fraudulent ways. The charmer archetype is present in an undisciplined child which Is why parents should discipline their children more often.
Lastly Zack manifests the eternal child archetype. He has the inability to grow up and embrace responsibility that comes with being an adult. Several children who are not disciplined and spoiled often grow up dependent on their parents, they also become very immature. Because Zack is not disciplined he throws a lot of temper tantrums like kid.” [o]nce he dumped Dads red tool box, tools and all, in the river, during one of his rages” This is an example of Zack doing an unnecessary thing in a fit of rage. In the story Zack is not very mature or responsible. Zack cannot keep a job for the life of it. Zack would get a job and another and then lose the one too. When Zack was told to leave the house for being irresponsible, he was found drifting all around small towns in Alberta trying to find a job, playing poker, drinking cheap wine than moving on. Since Zack was never disciplined he will not amount to anything. The eternal child archetype is also present in undisciplined children.
Disciplining children is easily one of the most important but difficult responsibilities a parent will have in their life. With these three archetypes, it was easily proven that parents should discipline their children. The prodigal son archetype shows how children often make mistakes and they continue to do so because they never had any real consequences. The charmer archetype shows how children use their charms to influence people and get them to forgive their wrongs. The eternal child archetype shows how immature and irresponsible undisciplined children are.
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