After reading the story “Separate Kingdoms” by Valerie Laken, a family struggles to understand each other after the Colt, the father loses his thumbs to a machine. Laken’s story was arranged in a two column format. Each column represents a viewpoint, which showed separation in their family between a father and son. Ultimately how a lack of human connection can prevent the suffering of others. I believe the purpose of Laken using two separate columns was to show the different point of views from the son and father perspectives on their life with or without more money.
The first column of “Separate Kingdoms” was mainly Colt perspective. It seemed as if Colt had a lot of anger in him because he was always mean to everyone. The only thing he would do is watch television or play with the dogs every since his thumb accident, he couldn’t go back to work. He would always argue with the wife, Cheri about taking the money his job was offering his for the damage of his fingers. In the story Cheri says. “Why wouldn’t you want to make them pay you (10)”. I think Colt will not accept the money from his job because of what happened to his figures it won’t change anything. It still will not bring his fingers back or it will not get his job back because he still can’t work without fingers. Colt sated, “A million dollars isn’t going to fix this (10)”. Colt was talking about his thumbs situation can’t be fixed or replaced with or without the money. The money won’t change Colt life style it might change Cheri and their son’s Jack. Colt will still have missing fingers at the end of the day. Its seems as if Cheri and Jack don’t understand what it’s like to have missing fingers in obviously they don’t because it’s not their fingers that is missing.
The second column of “Separate Kingdoms” was Jack’s perspective on his life and his father thumb situation. Jack was always playing the xbox game or playing his drums. Colt states about the drums, “the boys obsession is everybody else misery (6)”. Colt hated when Jack played the drums it was miserable and annoying to him, but that was something that Jack loved to do just like working was something Colt loved to do but now he can’t because his fingers are gone. Jack also thought his father should take the settlement of money from the job. “If he got that money we could do all those things maybe more. It seems like such an easy plan to explain (16)” is what Jack stated. Jack feels the same way as his mom does about using the money. But yet they really don’t realize that it still going to change the life of Colt and the way he does things. Colt is still going to have to deal with missing fingers which isn’t going to make a difference if they moved to a better place or not. “Yesterday I tried to do everything all day without my thumbs (17)”, Jack say’s. Jack tries to understand what his dad is going through but it still won’t work because he kept using his fingers anyway.
The purpose of Laken’s separating the story on two different sides was to show Colt’s point of view in the lost of his fingers, also to show the point of view of Jack and his mom. Jack and Cheri didn’t understand what is was like to live without fingers so they thought if Colt accepted the settlement it would make it better for Colt life style. Colt was trying to say that having money won’t make a difference or change anything about Colt’s life because his fingers will still be gone with or without the money. “Alex Schooper has money and he’s still a total asshole (17)”, is what Cheri said. What this meant was that the money didn’t change Alex Schooper because he’s still an asshole, just like the money wouldn’t change Colt because his fingers are still going to be missing.
If Laken’s would have wrote the story without separating the columns then their wouldn’t have been two different perspectives Colt and Jack. The story would have been like a fairy tale, of a man that got his fingers cut off while working. The separation showed why Colt didn’t take the money and it was reasons for that which Colt wanted Jack and Cheri to understand that reason. The same with Jack, he thought his dad should have taken the money for all the better reasons. His perspective was that they could live a better life.