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Revenge Garden and It Used to Be Green

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Our values and morals are what distinguishes the difference between us all. While reading Revenge Garden and It Used to Be Green Once, one can notice the powerful underlying theme of the generation gap within the stories. The authors, Sue Harper and Patricia Grace, used this particular subject to create the bold and dynamic thought of diverse attitudes towards accepting others. The attitudes we have are reflections of the communities we live in. With both pieces of literature provided, they illustrate the generation gap that separates the adults and adolescents from accepting reality, facing very similar everyday struggles.

One of the key conjoining ideas within these two short stories is acceptance. In the past, people were not accepting towards the presence of homosexuals, but now in the present day, that has changed drastically. Homosexuals can now present themselves in public without receiving the same discrimination they got in the past. “Colleen and Claire were working in their back garden…” (Revenge Gardening, 1) Although this isn’t out on the busy streets in town, it still makes a bold statement about how comfortable they are in their own skin, showing no shame to others that they are homosexuals. One would also recognize quickly the very frequent feel of “shame” in It Used to Be Green Once, which transitions into the idea of acceptance. Children are more ashamed of themselves because of what they don’t have, ashamed that they do not uphold materialistic items.

They are not able to accept that they are not wealthy, but the complete opposite. “We were all ashamed of our mother.” (It Used to Be Green Once, 1). They felt shame because they were young and immature about the world and the actions the parents took to try to support them all. When they won the lottery, it is evident that the parent’s personality and attitudes did not change, but the attitudes in the children changed. This is because they care about the materialistic things in life. Both these pieces of evidence prove that we all behave like this to others and it relates back to our morals that we all develop at a very young age and that the mindset of an adult in the present is evidently different than that of the mindset of a young teen because of the generation they all grew up in, and it comes back down to the idea of accepting who you are first, before accepting others.

In addition, values are another asset to this. In It Used to Be Green Once, the parents value the children so much more than the money. “We got our new clothes – shoes, bags, togs – and we even started taking posh lunches to school.” (It Used to Be Green Once, 2) The mother gave the children the old raggedy clothes to wear not because she wanted to shame them, but it was really because the family couldn’t afford any more clothes for the children, so she made an effort to fix up the clothes and give them to the children to wear. Values are things that you consider to be important in how you behave. This shows the reader the importance of their children to her, and how much she values them. Comparatively in Revenge Gardening, relationships are of high value to Matthew, who isn’t easily influenced by parental figures to change his mind. In this generation, in the present time, homosexuals present themselves to us and embed the idea, the thought, that they will be apart of our lives, which makes Matthew accept the idea of having two lesbian best friends.

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