The short story “Remainders” by Shana Myra is about a Jewish-Canadian woman who finds love in Israel with a man named Ben. They start a family, which results in Naomi’s priorities changing, an example of what happens to many women when they become mothers. The first example that highlights these changes is the landing of the rocket in the backyard: Naomi reacts childishly at first, but, after the birth of her daughter, she realizes the danger the rocket posed. A second example, is how Naomi is careless towards a Palestinian man, but after the birth of Sarah, she is much more cautious. The final example reveals that Naomi’s daughter comes before Ben, as seen when Naomi and Sarah moving back to Canada. Therefore, Naomi’s priorities change, as seen in her reaction to the rocket, her encounter with a Palestinian man, and her moving back to Canada.
Naomi’s change in priorities is shown through her view of the rocket. The story opens with rocket landing in the backyard. Naomi is not alarmed by it, or by its loud thud. She has three reactions: first she “[chokes] back excited laughter” instead of reacting in fear. Then instead of calling for help, she “almost point[s] and clap[s]. Her final reaction, saying, “look at that” (23), is an example of her acting childishly and not as a responsible adult should. On the other, Naomi’s perspective of the rocket changes due to motherhood: she becomes protective of her family. She imagines what her family’s future will be like if she
In Arlie Russell Hochschild’s, “Love and Gold,” she depicts the economic influences that turn choices of mothers in Third World countries into a precondition. Similarly, in Toni Morrison’s, Sula, a recurring theme of the struggle between independence, the ability to choose, and doing what’s best for others, or coerced decisions, is imminent throughout the entire novel and revolved around the main character, Sula. Often times the factor that weighs down choice is responsibility. Choices are seemingly infinite until you factor in what choices will affect which people and why. Both mothers and caregivers have to put their dependent before themselves, therefore limiting their
In “Desiree’s Baby” and “The Story of an Hour” there are two distinguishable women who are dependent on and controlled by their husbands both physically and emotionally. In “The Story of an Hour” Mrs. Mallard is restricted by the institution of marriage while, in “Desiree’s Baby” Desiree is confined to her husband because of her dependency on him.
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.
The story “A Sorrowful Women” by Gail Godwin describes a woman that seems to be exhausted of her family and life. Unlike the first story, this is about a married couple who already have a child. The narrator does not give names to the characters and he/she engages on a third person role to tell the story. This story carries a depressing, sad and dark mood. The wife, one night tells her husband if he could “put the boy to bed and read him the story about the monkey who ate too many bananas(39)” since she was already tired of doing all the work at home. The husband thought she just needed a break, and he assume that there’s nothing wrong with the idea of taking care of the child, therefore he happily agreed to take care of the kid. Since that evening the husband noticed that his
Brooks creates a horrific imagery that abortions are terrible; and in the poem “The Mother “,she mirrors herself to reality to show the missed opportunities of a child, that women who have aborted their children, will miss. In the poem, it pinpoints a woman’s experience of aborting a child, and then feeling guilty about it, as a mother. In contrast to the author of the poem, Gwendolyn Brooks is a woman who has also aborted a child numerous of times, feels relentless. She communicates with her audience, women, through the poem to recap what the unborn children would become in the future such as singers and workers. “You were born, you had body, you died. It is you never giggled or planned or cried.” When Brooks talk about the missed opportunities that women will never see, she refers to a mother with treacherous experiences. Symbolically, she reflects as a role model for all women who have undergone the situation.
Naomi’s change in priorities is shown through her view of the rocket. The story opens with rocket landing in the backyard. Naomi is not alarmed by it, or by its loud thud. She has three reactions: first she “[chokes] back excited laughter” instead of reacting in fear. Then instead of calling for help, she “almost point[s] and clap[s]. Her final reaction, saying, “look at that” (23), is an example of her acting childishly and not as a responsible adult should. On the other, Naomi’s perspective of the rocket changes due to motherhood: she becomes protective of her family. She imagines what her families future will
Secondly, Naomi in A Complicated Kindness shows poor judgement by falling into a world full of drugs and alcohol, causing self-destruction. When Naomi’s mother, Gertrude, and her sister, Natasha abandon Naomi and her father, Raymond, it results Naomi’s innocence to shatter. Naomi becomes mentally and emotionally unstable due to the lack of a mother figure and the loss of an older sister that she once had. It is clear that Naomi drowns herself in her own sorrows and darkness, until she loses her identity completely when she states, “But love, like a mushroom high compared with the buzz from cheap weed, outlasts grief," (Toews, 243-244) instead of creating a life for herself and learning to move on. Due to enabling her past to control and
In “Ordinary People” and “The Color of Water”, the lives of two different families are presented. The maternal figures of these families are very different from each other and from the typical mother. Ruth and Beth show different values, personalities, and ways of raising a child and maintain a family throughout the story and don’t follow the gender roles or the expectations of women.
First, a significant event takes place in Naomi’s life in which she portrays silence. At the simple age of 4 years old, Naomi is repeatedly raped by Old Man Gower. The next door neighbor, Old Man Gower, “begins to undress me. I do not resist.” As an innocent child, Naomi keeps silent about these events because she wants to protect her relationship with her mother; furthermore, Naomi states, “If I tell my mother about Mr. Gower, the alarm will send a tremor through our bodies and I will be torn from her.” In an attempt to keep the love and shelter her relationship, Naomi remains quiet about these horrid incidents. At the young age of 4, Naomi learns to believe that silence will guarantee no problems.
Unlike her friend, Nora, Mrs. Linde has more freedom to do what she wants, however she is not entirely satisfied. In this culture, a woman’s role is normally to do housework and to raise their children, but Mrs. Linde is exempt from this. She does not have to conform into this picture, but she is not content with her lifestyle until she meets up with her lost love, Krogstad. “I want to be a mother to someone, and your children need a mother. We two need each other.”1 This quote exemplifies that Mrs. Linde is only content with her life when she fits in the role of being a mother and a wife.
"Desiree's Baby" is not a mere tragic short story by which a reader may be entertained by its ironic and catastrophic ending. It is a story of a crime and brutality against women of all generations to come, depicting vividly how a woman may suffer and conceal her anguish for the sake of others. It is a story of innocence slain mercilessly by the unscrupulous power of harshness that directly governs human societies.
Maya Angelou said, “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow” (Wanderlust 1). The relationship a mother has with her child transcends all other relationships in complexity. Maternity largely contributes to the female identity in part because the ability to sexually reproduce is uniquely female. With this ability often comes an unparalleled feeling of responsibility. That is, mothers experience an inherent desire to protect their children from the world and guide them through life. Serving as a child’s protector then transforms a woman’s perspective, or the female gaze. While these protective instincts often arise naturally, they are also reinforced by the ideas society’s perpetuates about motherhood. Globally, women are expected to assume the roles of wives and mothers. The belief that motherhood is somewhat of a requirement assists in the subjugation of women and reinforces a plethora of gendered stereotypes. While some women enjoy the process of childrearing, others feel that having a family comes at an irreparable cost: losing sight of oneself. In response to the polarized views surrounding maternity, several authors have employed different writing techniques to illustrate the mother-child dynamic. Through the examination of three narratives, spanning fiction and non-fiction, one is able to better define maternity and the corresponding female gaze in both symbolic and universal terms.
A woman pushes as hard as she can for the last time. “It’s a baby girl!” the man announces, as the new mother hangs her head in sight of the hardships her baby, Elizabeth, will face. Miles away in a hospital, another woman gives birth to a healthy baby girl, Marley. As she sees her baby for the first time, she smiles knowing all the great adventures this baby will experience in her life. The polygamous mom takes the little girl home to her family, a family where she has more than one mother and many brothers and sisters. As she grows up she lives her life trying to be “proper” and “sweet” in the eyes of the prophet. Somewhere far away, Marley is outside playing with her mother and learning how to be a kid. At the age of fourteen, young girls like Marley are innocent and should be going on dates, having fun with friends, and living their life, but for a fourteen year old Elizabeth, she is married to a man twice her age to be his second wife. As she begins her life with her husband, she sees the jealousy of the first wife and the neglect she feels by her presence. Shortly after, the young girl is replaced by another new wife after having a child. Ever since the day she was born, she had no control over these stages happening. Her fate was determined from time of birth and is determined by men until the day she dies. Her fate will be ruled by the religion of Polygamy.
In contrast, Chanda’s care for her mother is intimate. Before the funeral for her baby sister Chanda and her mother share a powerful embrace, and her arms are wrapped around her sobbing mother’s neck (00:18:35). Because Chanda’s silence and the frame’s focus on her mother’s tears, it is read as Chanda is holding her mother and not the reverse. As the camera pans out further we see Jonah, her stepfather, crying alone. It is made clear that Chanda is providing care for her grieving mother in this scene and that her mother has chosen her, over her husband. There is no shame in this scene. Their grief is unapologetic and loud, a rupture, a much needed catharsis. Chanda fills her mother’s emotional needs better, or more, than her stepfather does. At the end of the film Chanda traverses the country, traveling from her urban home to the village her mother was born in. She finds her mother much more frail than before and her illness has progressed dangerously. Chanda lifts a damp rag to her mother’s face, cleaning her skin and dampening her lips (01:28:26). Here, Lillian is infant-like, completely reliant on her daughter. Chanda tells her “Don’t worry mama, I’m with you” to which Lillian replies “Chanda I’m lost”. Chanda assures “I’ve come to get you”. Where we had seen evasiveness in Dlangamandla, Chanda is steadfast. She has come here, to this rural place herself, in search. In contrast, Jola had to seek out Dlangamandla. Lillian is honest about her internal sadness and Chanda’s