“Road Ends” by Mary Lawson is the story of a large dysfunctional family that resides in Struan, Ontario, which is a small town with abundant woods. Although the family is living under one roof, members of the family appear to be detached from each other. The author has created an environment which gives an impression that members of this family are not connected in a profound manner. Every member of the family appears to be struggling in a unique way, depending upon his or her own circumstances. Challenges are different for every individual member of the family, and so are the strategies that are adopted to cope with these challenges.
The author relates the prevailing conditions of the family to the behaviors and decisions of family members. These behaviors and decisions are in turn governed either by their responsibility to self or responsibility to others. A persistent battle between these two choices is portrayed as the factor that directly or indirectly affects the lives of family members. It appears that the author has tried to convey the message that responsibility to others is of prime importance in matters of a family and this is the only means through which a satisfactory family life can be ensured.
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