Mother 's Reservation Of A Mother

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I find disappointing though that Ramatoulaye does not seem to have the intuitiveness of a mother. Addressing her dead husband, she recalls her mother’s reservation about him, “she often spoke of the wide gap between your two upper incisors: the sign of the primacy of sensuality in the individual” (14). Her mother is intuitive enough to know that in the long run, Modou is a bad choice for her just by looking at his denture. But after twenty years of mothering, Ramatoulaye cannot even tell that her daughter is pregnant. She therefore becomes the (m) other in her relationship with her children. As much as she tries to control everything in their lives – an indication of an internalized patriarchal norm – she is the other person in their lives instead of a mother. It takes persistent nag of Farmata, her griot neighbor to convince her that her daughter, Aissatou is pregnant. She makes the effort to find out about the pregnancy just because she is “worried about the relentless repetition” (81) of her neighbor. She however learns from her mistake of being negligent and ends up a true mother. She prepares her daughter for marriage and motherhood. She also teaches her other children how to live responsibly while allowing them to chart the course of their lives.
Mothering is a lifetime commitment, from the cradle to the grave perhaps and not just caring for a child. Ramatoulaye does not fully comprehend her grandmother’s lament that, “The mother of the family has no time to travel

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