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Comparison On "Song Of Songs" By Ellen Gilchrist And "Shopping" By Joyce Carol Oates

891 words - 4 pages

Unconditional LoveWhat is love? Love is a very special and meaningful word to each human being. Unconditional love is a special type of love that can happen when each person accepts each others without hesitation. In most families, the bond between parents and child is one of unconditional love. However, not all families' relationships are ideal. In the two short stories "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates and "Song of Songs" by Ellen Gilchrist, the main characters in each are lacking a sense of real love in their souls. They both experience emptiness in their hearts and are searching for unconditional love to fulfill their lives. Both women in the stories have suffered losses within their families. One has lost the love of a teenaged daughter who has gone astray. The other lost contact with her mother at an early age and is experiencing a lack of belonging.Mrs. Dietrich, the protagonist in "Shopping," is a divorced woman who is seeking a love response from her 17 year old daughter, Nola. One day before Nola goes back to school, Mrs. Dietrich and she go shopping. The mother hopes that by taking Nola shopping she will become more in touch with her daughter. During the shopping, Mrs. Dietrich keeps looking at Nola while she is enjoying trying on new clothes. Mrs. Dietrich shows a mother's love by seeing Nola growing up and turning into a young woman. However, when Nola discovers her mother staring at her, she shows her hatred on her face immediately and says, "Let me go. For Christ's sake will you let me go." Even though Nola says disrespectful and rude things to her mother, Mrs. Dietrich still forgives her as Nola is only 17 years old and at an unstable age. Nevertheless, when they are leaving the shopping mall, Nola notices that the poor woman who was there when she came to the mall is still sitting there. The woman seems very lonely and helpless in Nola's eyes, and this thought has reminded Nola of how she has treated her mother in the past; eventually she feels sorry about what she has done to her mother. She suddenly realizes her mother is just like that poor woman, lonely and lacking someone who loves her. Therefore, she cries heavily when she gets into the car, and Mrs. Dietrich comforts her as well as cries with her. The unconditional love that the mother shows towards her daughter overcomes the built-up resentment of Nola's rudeness and poor behavior in the past.Similarly, in the Ellen Gilchrist story, "The Song of Songs," the protagonist, Barrett Clare, changes dramatically in her way of viewing the world....

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