Family dynamics

An important theme in the story “Sunday in the Park” by Bel Kaufman is family dynamics.

The woman, Morton, and Larry appear to be the perfect family, judging from the idyllic description of them and the woman’s feeling of deep content. However, it only takes a minor incident for the cracks to show in this apparent domestic perfection and for the readers’ initial impression to be subverted. The title of the story also illustrates this subversion. From the title, the readers may expect a pleasant, domestic scene, as a Sunday spent in the park has positive implications. However, the story proceeds in a different direction, highlighting the issues which the family members apparently have with each other. 

The woman appears to love her husband, Morton. She squeezes his arm affectionately, and feels “suffused with a tenderness”  for him when he is first provoked by the man on the bench. However, she feels frustrated that Morton withdraws from the fight, even if she agrees with him that ...

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