Essay on Death Without Weeping

735 Words Jan 1st, 2012 3 Pages
Anthropology

“Mothers Love: Death Without Weeping.”

A shantytown called the Alto do Cruzeiro (Crucifix Hill), is one of the three shantytowns bordering the big marketplace area in the town of Bom Jesus in the sugar plantation district of Northeast Brazil, a solitary part of the countless regions of disregard that have materialized in the darkness of the now stained economic wonder of Brazil. The Alto women practice an unusual method of caring for their offspring especially when handling the death of their infants. The high rate of infant death can be credited to poverty and malnutrition. Illness and infant deaths are taken nonchalantly not by just the social institutions in the Alto but also by the child's own mother and this has
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These "little angels," in their petite cardboard coffins, are hoisted to the cemetery by a irregular parade of older children, who consequently become familiarized to the idea of premature death. These dead babies are viewed as going directly to heaven, where ultimately they will be reunited with the rest of the family.
Scheper-Hughes provides a controversial breakdown of the mothers' evident lack of concern to the death of their babies as not a repression of grief, but as a plan for endurance. The mothers, by allowing themselves to form attachment to only the babies who have already verified their capability to survive by doing so during early infancy, these women can increase the existence odds of their strongest children. Modern ideas about "mother love," and about mother-infant bonding as a naturally occurring process that in general occurs in the first few moments of a baby's life, are the cultural result of the statistical differences which allows women to give birth to just a few children, each of which she may be expecting to raise to adulthood.
Mother love may have a biological base, but its demonstrations are…