Analysis Of Happy Birthday By Lispector

932 WordsOct 4, 20174 Pages
The story I have chosen to close read and argue from is “Happy Birthday” by Clarice Lispector. The story begins with the description of various family members. The family has come together in order to celebrate the birthday of the mother of the story. This ranges from wives to daughters to grandchildren. It takes a third person point of view as it explains each person’s standpoint entering the home. There is a great divide amongst the children and their wives. It left the reader wondering what caused this family to be discontent within themselves and their family. Half of the story, the mother is silent. She doesn’t greet her family as they push her off as incompetent or too old to adhere to their words. The story then focuses on the…show more content…
Their presence or approval is crucial in a child’s development. There is the stereotype that mothers are the nurturing ones. Anita does not play into this as she thinks of her children as the “spineless lot”, “weak creatures with their limp arms and anxious faces”, “jostling rats”, “communists”, and “bitter and unhappy fruits” (Lispector 80). She criticizes them harshly for what they have become and only finds value in her seven-year-old grandson. It is obvious that the father was the supportive role as she describes him as “a good man whom, submissive yet independent, she had respected…given her children and support and honored his obligations”, which displays that the father was not a factor (Lispector 80). Her sons’ wives weren’t spared either as she calls them “feeble and bitter”. How did she become this way? Was her mother this harsh? We may never know, but in some cases, it is the continuation of mothers. In the documentary, “Look at Us No, Mother!” directed by Gayle Kirschenbaum, Gayle walks through her life to attempt to understand and explain why her mother hated her. It wasn’t until adulthood that Gayle discovered that her grandmother treated her mother the same way. This brings to light that Anita’s mother could have been the same way and Anita became her mother. Anita was raised with an ideal image of what her son should be. Only Jonga fit the bill and this built his confidence. However, this resulted in

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