Valerie Laken's, "Seperate Kingdoms" seems to be writing the story to demonstrate how technology can ruin family interactions and communication. Laken wants the reader to consider family interactions and how we can be unaware of the impact our actions have on other individuals. Laken seems to use different structural strategies to grab the reader's attention and place more emphasis on different portions of the text.
Laken chooses an interesting style for her story, writing most of the story in a two column style but twice in the text she has a running sentence that breaks the two column barrier. The choice for a two column style is different from most styles because it doesn't switch sides on every page, you have to completely read the left column and then read the right column. It appears that Laken is breaking the barrier to over emphasize a sound or situation. Throughout the stroy Laken uses the technique of exaggerating words like "Duh Guh" (pg.6). These words represent a single stroke roll, but the sentence breaks composition and moves across the entire page. I take this to show an overemphasis to the situation and there to draw more attention to the situation. The second example Laken breaks the double column style, "You take it, then 'he shouts, wishing he could throw something. 'Take it! Take the goddamn money and the little drummer boy and drive yourselves straight to paradise, set yourselves up! I'm fine right here" (pg. 11). This is a situation that represents an argument; the interesting aspect of this structural break is in the right column the story discusses the dad's yelling. It appears this sentence might break the struture to represent an argument on both portions of the text and adding extra emphasis.
The essay addresses a family that seems in turmoil and does not get along. In the beginning of the story the dad is very distant and uninterested in the family. Laken portrays the father as uninteresting and appears to prefer to keep to himself and watch television, "He'll be fine. He's reclined on the couch in the back room-the old couch, in the reject room-convalescing"(pg.1). This represents how uninterested he is in the family dynamics and structure, he seems distant and only worried about himself because he places himself in the "reject room-convalescing". Throughout the story the father son relationship is not cohesive and they treat eachother as strangers with an attitude of dislike. There are multiple times Colt rejects Jacks attempts to repair their relationship and spark up a conversation but Colt is uninterested. It is obvious that Jack is able to recognize his father's dislike and disinterest in him, "Jack, why don't you take a break and keep your dad company while I exercise? As if he wanted company. From me. As if he's said a complete sentence this week at all, to me or her or anyone" (pg.2). Jack points out his fther's behavior and lack of family communication. This portion of the story addresses the family's lack of happiness with the family dynamics and the ather seems to be at the center of this situation.
Laken's story seems to use different structural functioning to draw more attention to different situations in the text. While doing this the story seems to address a family's inconsistencies and lack of communication. There is little to know communication and the father is very distant throughout the story.