Gratitude of Children

An unwritten – and illusory – àContract Between the Generations contains the provision that children owe their parents a debt of gratitude for these latter’s having “called them into existence”. Parents may only hope that this “debt of existence” owed them by their children will be paid off, in their old age, in such a way that they are spared the Geronto-Camp.

Ingratitude of Children

Balzac provides us with an example of one of the countless imaginary ->Contracts Between the Generations that did not work out: “One has to die in order to understand what that is: a child’s love…Oh my young friend, do not marry and cherish no wish for children! You give them life and on you they inflict death. You bring them into the world and they drive you out of it.” (Balzac, Father Goriot)

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