English Final Essay

1709 words - 7 pages

Throughout life we experience and form many relationships and these relationships help define who we are. However, of all potential relationships, the mother-daughter relationship is the strongest relationship that can be formed. A mother-daughter relationship is all of the following: loving, supportive, encouraging, aspirational, inspiring, emotional, and trusting. When reading the books for my Contemporary Women Writers class, the mother-daughter relationship was a key theme throughout. The women writers of Beloved, Speaking in Tongues, and Runaway have thoughtfully captured the power of the mother-daughter relationship in a light that showcases this special bond’s (struggles and ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately, Beloved opens up to Denver about her true identity as Sethe’s daughter and expresses her need and yearns for Sethe, leaving Denver alone once again.

At the end of the novel, we see Sethe in desperate need of help. Beloved is sucking the life out of her. Denver witnessed “the flesh between her mother’s forefinger and thumb fade. Saw Sethe’s eyes bright but dead, alert but vacant, paying attention to everything about Beloved—her lineless palms, her forehead, the smile under her jaw, crooked and much too long—everything except her basket-fat stomach.” (Morrison, 185). Sethe was blinded by her guilt of previously killing Beloved and her love for her. Though angry about her mother’s consumption with the past and tendency to ignore her “the job she started out with, protecting Beloved from Sethe, changed to protecting her mother from Beloved.” (Morrison, 286) Denver resented her mother for her tendency to turn a blind eye when it came to her, but Sethe was her mother and she was in trouble. Putting aside her fears and apprehensions “Denver knew it was on her. She would have to leave the yard; step off the edge of the world, leave the two behind and go ask somebody for help.” (Morrison, 286)
Morrison emphasizes the strength and reliability of a mother-daughter relationship. Regardless of Denver’s feelings towards her mother, she was ready to overcome her fears and leave the safe and familiar confides of 124 to help save her mother. Both Sethe and Denver were suffering when apart, but rose up when they came together. Acknowledging its miscommunications and difficulties, Morrison draws attention to a mother-daughter relationship’s true power to bring people together.

Moving down the spectrum of mother-daughter relationships, the mother-daughter relationship portrayed in Duras’ The Lover is one of complexity. The narrator, who remains unnamed throughout the novel, and her mother, Marie, do not have the best relationship. As a matter of fact, the narrator was surrounded by incomplete relationships with her mother, two brothers, father, and her lover. Describing both the love and the hate each of them share for one another, the narrator “still can’t understand however hard [she] tries” (Duras, 25) why her family dynamic is overly consumed by hatred. The narrator and her two brothers hate their mother because she is devoured by her own emotions. Her frequent hysterical outbursts are filled with rage and violence, which often occupied her time. The narrator ______ her mother for her absence and often mood changes. All through the life of her daughter, Marie is standing behind a closed door; unable to effectively be a proper mother to her daughter. It is clear that the narrator suffers due to her mother’s quasi absence. She is unable to form a concrete relationship with anyone in her life, proved by the hatred in her relationships with her brothers and struggle for control in her relationship with her lover.

Throughout the novel, it is...

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