Family Structure

16 Nov


Leave it to Beaver embodies the ideal family structure of the 1950’s. It is a nuclear family where two parents; a man and a woman, lookout for their biological sons and daughters; usually two of them.   In this show’s case, the two sons happened to be boys, Wally and Beaver.  The first one, Wally is the teenager in the Cleaver family and thus, represents a connecting gap between the difference in ages between his parents and his younger brother.  This is because he shows his parents the ropes as to what Beaver feels, what he is going through and the things that he wants to communicate. Wally represents a well-rounded American boy who gets good grades, gets along with his teachers and plays sports.  His good academic standing can be seen in the clip below.

It shows how Wally is able to achieve the highest grade in his class due to a job well done, unlike his friend, who thinks that by dating the Teacher’s daughter he will succeed and ultimately fails with the “lowest grade” that can be given.  Beaver, on the other hand, is a more mischievous child that gets in trouble for tricking or lying to other people.  However, he is a genuinely good child whose conscience does not allow him to follow through with his plans and he ultimately tells on himself and punishes himself, as can be seen in this clip.  This particular clip also shows the Cleaver’s good parenting skills for they communicate with their child.

While it is seen that through this traditional family structure that June and Ward are able to successfully raise their children, the struggles of being a single parent are shown through their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Mondello.  Since Mr. Mondello was never home and always out of town, Mrs. Mondello was the representation of a single parent and she would always have issues with her son, Larry.  Due to this, the Cleavers were the ones who would provide her with advice, for she was not able to manage with her son by herself.  Through Mrs. Mondello, Leave it to Beaver conveyed that a traditional family was a necessary to raise polite, respectful kids, unlike Mrs. Mondello ill-behaved Larry.


Modern Family consists of three very different families that are commonly seen in our society. First we have the typical family with a wife and husband with their three kids. Their race is Caucasian and this family structure is very similar to that of Leave it to Beaver. This demonstrates that we still have that ideal family that our society should consist.

Next, we have a family structure that has been become more acceptable throughout the years. We have a divorced man who remarries not only a younger woman but a Latin woman. We start to see that biracial marriages are not frown upon and it has become common for people to date/marry outside their race.

The last family structure we see in Modern Family is a fairly new one that is still seen as a taboo. It is not only one controversial issue it is two issues that many people do not agree with. We see that the last family structure consist of two gay men AND an adopted child. The fact that we see a gay couple in the show it demonstrates that our society is becoming more accustomed to the idea of homosexuality, yet it is still not completely socially acceptable. Also because they have adopted a child the audience is shown that in order to raise a child it does not have to be the traditional man and woman.


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