Family in Landfill and a House on the Plains

In: English and Literature

Submitted By englishman
Words 1343
Pages 6
Sons & Mothers: Family in Landfill and A House On The Plains

“Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox (“Brainy Quote”). Family is not only people who are related to us by blood, but also people who share a common interest or goal, a philosophy or an idea, and who are loyal to one another. Family requires care. How far will we go to get one or retain one?

Family plays a major role in “Landfill”1 and “A House on the Plains.”2 In “Landfill”, before Scoot’s death, his family appeared conventional. Scoot, the son, graduated from high school and left for college; Mrs. Campos, the mother, blindly loved her son, and desired continuing dependency; Mr. Campos, the father, was somewhat absent from the family. There is no father in “A House on the Plains.” It is Earle and his mother, Dora.

The Campos family appears conventional, particularly in contrast to Earle and Dora. Earle and Dora’s actions disturb. We discover that they moved out to the plains with life insurance money from the suspicious death of Dora's husband. They adopted orphans and buy a house with the money to start a new life. This life is devoted to Dora’s current vocation: attracting wealthy immigrants to the farm, and, along with Earle, killing them and taking their money. Then they frame Bent, a hired hand, by making it look like he killed Dora and Earle, the children Dora adopted, and the immigrants (Doctorow 246-247). When comparing the families, the Campos family is normal compared to of Dora and Earle.

Dora and Earle and the Campos Family are two families in different situations, but when comparing the relationships between sons and mothers in “Landfill” and “A House on the Plain”, Earle and his mother, no matter how disturbing their relationship and actions, exemplify family better than Mrs. Campos and Scoot.

In “A House on the Plains”, Dora and Earle are united…...

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