The Role Of Motherhood In Beloved And Sula

2399 Words10 Pages
In Beloved and Sula mothers are not depicted as flawless, but they show unconditional love for their children, often in quite provocative ways. Morrison's authorship elucidates the conditions of motherhood showing how black women’s' existence is warped by the severe conditions of slavery. These two novels become apparent how in a patriarchal society a woman can feel guilty when choosing interests, career and self-development before motherhood. Those sacrifices have to be made by a mother is obvious and natural, but equality in a relationship means shared responsibility and with that the sacrifices are less on both parts. It argues that although motherhood can be a wonderful experience many women fear it because of the domestication of the mother…show more content…
Eva fails to communicate with her children, but her love and sacrifice for them is undeniable. For example, her self-mutilation in order to receive insurance money to support her family. Her relieving her child’s pain, when she sets him on fire to alleviate his painful memories of the war and his drug addiction and finally when she throws herself from a window into the fire in an attempt to save her daughter, Hannah. Eva becomes a bitter woman who feels alone; she is disappointed at the ingratitude of her children and the fact that no one seems to understand the sacrifices she has made for them. At the same time, ambiguously, Eva constantly surrounds herself with people and children; continuing her nurturing ways. The role of the nurturing mother has become integrated in Eva’s inner core and she literally becomes a slave to everyone and everything despite everyone thinking that she is highly respected and is the image of how a strong mother ought to be. The idea of motherhood is governed by expectations from patriarchal society. There is a narrow conception of how a mother should be, of how she should express mothering and how she is supposed to perceive her role as a mother. Added to this, the women in Morrison’s novels bear the burden of history and the heritage of slavery and
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