The Book That Night: Differences in Family Values between the 1990s and 1960s

There are many differences between the 1990s and the 1960s. Many of these comparisons can be found in the 1960s based book That night, and a modern day high school. In the 1960s the average family ate together, relaxed together, watched television together, and most importantly the average family of the 1960s stayed together. Here in the 1990s a large portion of Smithtown high school does not have families that all eat together, most do not relax together, and a large majority would not be found watching television together. A major reason for this is that unlike the 1960s a portion of the families in the 1990s are no longer a complete family.

One example of difference is an unwed mother. In the book That Night Sheryl got pregnant as an unwed teenager. In this book one of the main characters Sheryl got pregnant by Rick. Sheryl was immediately sent to her aunts house in another state to keep her away from Rick. In Smithtown high school an average pregnant teenager would have an abortion. Although most people feel that this is unjust to have an abortion at any time in life many people do. It is just a fact of life that when you are a teenager you just cant ruin your life.

Another difference between the book that took place in the 1960s and in a modern day suburb is that many families no longer sit down together to eat dinner. In the book every family sat down together and ate a dinner. When the dinner is complete they all take to their porches and sit down for a sunset. This is always done as a family. In a modern high school more than half of the student population does not eat dinner as a whole family. In most cases, there is after school job involved, or a large amount of homework. If a survey was taken the majority of the high school population would say that they do not eat dinner as a family.

The most incomplete factor of the times is that most families today have computers, televisions, stereos, and much more in individual rooms. Therefore there is not one specific room of the house that the family meets to spend time together. This means, where there was once a time for communication as a family in the 1960s; there is no longer that factor in modern society. An average high school student spends about an hour on the internet per night. This craze just started no more than four years ago. Also a majority of high school students have a television in the room. This eliminates the idea of family time.

There is a great factor that is different now then from the 1960s. There is a much higher percentage of divorces in todays era than in the past. This breaks families up. The bond a family could have had is no longer an option. There are so many other reasons for family life being different now than in the 1960s that you cant list them all. This is not true for all families though, there are some families that still sit down to dinner every night and have a great family life and this is what I think everyone wishes they can accomplish.

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