And because, with the excuse of being responsible parents, you are instilling in your children the same consumerist ethos, if material goods are not the essence of humanity, then why are you making sure their life is full of objects, like yours, with duties and paranoias and insertions and emissions, so that the only aim they will have lived for will be that of perpetuating the system, and the only reason they will die for will be the fact of them getting worn out. […]

“…all his existence was built like an amendment to that of his father…” […]

Those were the evenings, and there had been hundreds, maybe thousands, when nothing that traumatic to leave a mark happened to the nuclear family. Evenings of simple vanilla-flavoured intimacy on the black leather armchair; sweet evenings of doubt between nights of squalid certainty. They occurred to him now, those forgotten counterexamples, because in the end, when one was falling in the water, the one solid thing to grab on to were children. […]

Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections

Fourth Estate, 2001