Authority, responsibility, sacrifice, discipline, duty, restraint: we no longer know how to value the qualities of adulthood. The very words are ugly to us. We reject them, because we know, deep down, that we aren’t equipped for them. Instead we worship our own ancestors, the so-called “Greatest Generation” (a phrase that didn’t exist until Tom Brokaw invented it in 1998). Assenting to that myth, we sentence ourselves to permanent childhood. To being, precisely, descendants.
William Deresiewicz juxtaposes the plight of the modern American child with the plot of The Descendants. Read.