'So Big' is a fascinating story that contrasts the aspirations and values of a mother -- who grew up in economic hardship -- with that of her son who, through his mother's hard work, was given a secure, happy childhood and a quality education.
"After struggling to give her son opportunities to pursue his dreams, Selina must watch as he sets them aside in the empty pursuit of wealth. While Selina builds a thriving vegetable farm and derives contentment through her 'beautiful cabbages' and other produce, her son finds only frustration and lack of fulfillment when he forgoes a career as an architect for the pursuit of money and a sumptuous lifestyle.
"The shift in values from mother to son can also be viewed as allegory for our own nation's continuing cultural shift. We have moved away from the values of thrift and financial security held by our Depression-era parents to that of overuse of credit to fund lifestyles we cannot afford, that have not always brought happiness, and -- in the case of the foreclosure crisis -- that have caused dislocation and despair."