After Monday's post, I was still thinking about children as characters in fiction. I realized that the vast majority of the time, in order for children to be central characters in an adventure plot, their parents have to be 'disposed of' in some way or other by the author. Killing them off always works--orphans have all kinds of adventures--and sending them away on the proverbial long trip is usually sufficient to allow the kids to have some thrilling adventure.
But then it occurred to me: what has happened to the family unit in fiction? I've read books about kids having adventures without their parents around, and I've read books about parents without their kids around... but I couldn't think of a single book about a family unit--parents and children--having an adventure together.
I understand that 99.999% of the time, a story has to have a main character, one person that is focused on, and who changes and grows over the course of the story. But the cast of central characters surrounding the main character most often consists of friends, maybe a sibling here and there. Why do fictional people never have adventures with their families?
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if perhaps this is yet another manifestation of the American culture's disregard and even disdain of the traditional family unit. The political incorrectness of parent's authority could be playing a part in it too.
Having realized and thought about this, I would really like to see some fiction that casts a family unit, parents and children, together as the central characters of a story. I don't have a problem with one person, parent or kid, being the main character, but I want the main character's family to be the central characters surrounding them.
What are your thoughts on this issue? If any of you creative geniuses out there are writing fiction centered around a traditional family unit, I would love to know about it. Even if you aren't writing it yourself, if you know of any fiction centered around the family, please share it!