Cheaper By the Dozen Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Cheaper By the Dozen Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Motif: Efficiency

A motif is an idea or theme, and efficiency is definitely a central theme in this book. The father’s job is being an efficiency expert. He studies different activities and comes up with ways for the job to be done using the least amount of movement and motion. He uses his family to experiment. He makes most of them remove their tonsils so he can study the surgery to come up with the most efficient way to do it. His household runs much more smoothly with his efficient methods.

Allegory: Hard work

An allegory reveals a hidden meaning. Throughout the book, hard work is central and reveals good outcomes. The kids aren’t a lazy bunch. They have morals and values and hard work is one of them. The kids are always up to something. And they always help their father when he is studying motion, by doing the jobs for him. They are a hardworking bunch.

Motif: Discipline

Another motif is discipline. It is a main theme and is needed in order for the household to run smoothly. The kids each have a chart and they must do the things on the chart before checking it off. But sometimes they don’t. However, they usually do because they know their father will punish them if they don’t. The mother doesn’t believe in giving them intense discipline, though the father does.

Motif: Family

Family is a rather obvious theme in the book. After all, the whole book revolves around the Gilbreth family and all the things that happen to a family with twelve children. They have morals and values and treat each other with respect. They follow certain rules to make sure everything goes well, but even then, sometimes things go wrong. But, in the end, the family members all love and care for each other.

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