As we all know, Lynn has always been critical of the women's movement. She has, to say the least, a strong dislike of women who 'abandon' their kids in order to be in the labor force; one would presume that her idea of Utopia would be one in which the lot of a stay-at-home mother in North American society was more exalted than it is now. She also knows that she cannot have Elly say this directly because Elly is supposed to be an expression of what women want. She can, however, have John espouse this sort of thinking. The main source of conflict of the Early Years was not John's standing in the way of Elly's freedom of expression, it was John's not quite seeing that what she did is as important as his job. Once he started to accept that the Swedes had a point when they made it simpler to be parents, he started to be the benign, mellow goofola of the Later Years.