In the story Separate Kingdoms by Valerie Laken, there is a family that fails to understand one another and they fail to cope with one another due to lack of communication and lack of quality time spent with one another. It seems as if everyones existence in the house is not there. In the story there was a father, named Colt who lost his thumbs in an “accident” doing some machine work at his job. Laken made the story using two different columns with two different points of views. One was the point of view of Colt’s son and wife, Jack and Cheri. The other was from Colt’s point of view. Laken made the story so that the paths of the characters never combine to one whole visual but they intertwine in segments and parts of the story. Another thing that I noticed was how in some columns the dialogue was identical. This is where the story was heard from both points of views. I enjoyed seeing the complexity of Laken’s work. Laken's work shows that family shouldn't neglect communication Ultimately, a lack of family value and a lack of communication, mixed with everyones need of technology to fulfill the void of family prevented Colt and his family from coping with each other. It made them neglect the people they love the most, therefore, forcing the family to have two separate kingdoms instead of one family world.
Through out the story the family was always separated separated.. As far as physically and morally. In the story the father lost his thumbs due to technology. This caused him to fade away from his family and stay distant watching the animal channel a day. On the other hand their were also times where the family came together. Like the scene with the i-pod. Jack had a moment when he and a girl from his school shared an i-pod. This was one instance when technology brought people together in the story. Technology kept Jack, Cheri and Colt in separate rooms doing separate things. Jack, Colts son, would always be on his X-box. Cheri would always watch her Tae-Bo tapes and workout doing that. While Colt on the other hand would always watch the animal channel and sit around in the “reject room” as Cheri would call it disgracefully. Cheri and Jack overall didn't understand Colt and this was proven with the settlement that Colt got from work for his thumbs being severed. She wanted him to take more money because she assumed that this would make Colt a happier man and it would make everything better for the family. When Jack stated,“If he got that money we could do all those things maybe more. It seems like such an easy plan to explain" this shows that they dont understand that Colt doesn't care about the money. Colt's response to all of the chaos over the money situation was,“Alex Schooper has money and he’s still a total asshole. Colt knew that money wouldn’t change his lifestyle because he would still have no thumbs. This miscommunication is another one that his the family failed to cope with.
Laken made two columns for the story which at times came together and read the same thing. One example of this is in the story when Jack was banging on the drums. Every time Jack hit the drums Laken wrote, “Duh. Guh. Duh. Guh...duh guh duh guh duh guh.” This was one way that Laken tied the two worlds together. Also whenever Jack would talk to Colt the two columns would be identical to each other as well. This was a brilliant way to show the separate kingdoms coming together.
In conlusion the story made readers see that communication between family is important in order to keep everyone in the famiy close net. The lack of communication in this story caused the family to retract from one another and clash as a family. The way of writing the book made us see the two perspectives of what was going on in the story.