The Mother Daughter Relationship in Oranges Are not the Only Fruit

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Oranges are not the Only Fruit starts out when Jeanette is seven years old and living with her adoptive parents in England. Jeanette’s mother is very religious, and her father is not around much. She gets pretty lonely; until she is seven years old she has been homeschooled. Her mother is so religious that she even taught Jeanette how to read from the Bible. Because Jeanette’s mother is so religious, she almost brainwashes her daughter to become a missionary. However, once Jeanette begins school things change. When Jeanette is seven years old, she loses her hearing. Her mother and the church think it is something religious when it is really just a sickness, so she is admitted into the hospital. When Jeanette is well again so goes back…show more content…
While she is in the hospital, her mother does not stay with her. Instead she visits a few times and gives her oranges, seeming to be disappointed in the fact that it is an illness. At this point in the story, the reader can begin to feel sorry for young Jeanette. She is left all alone in the hospital while her mother is busy helping the church. Jeanette wants to be a missionary, just like in the stories her mom has read to her. In the beginning of the book, it appears that Jeanette’s mother does love her. However, it appears that she only loves her based on if she fulfills her expectations or not. The last half of the book shows the most change in Jeanette’s relationship with her mother. Since the start, Jeanette’s mother has been more concerned with the church and religion than spending time with her daughter. And in this half of the book, it is apparent that she loves the church more than her daughter. When Jeanette finally comes out, and no longer hides the fact that she is a lesbian. Her mother kicks her out, and basically disowns her. That shows the reader that her mother does not love her daughter no matter what. She only loved her when she was doing what she wanted. She wanted Jeanette to be a miniature her, and when she disappointed her, she no longer seemed to love her. However, at the very end of the novel, Jeanette goes back home to see her mother. She is welcomed into her home even though she is still very religious, but they do
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