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The Diviners: Mother Daughter Relationships Essay

1824 words - 7 pages

"My Hope Is Constant In Thee" (352-353)What gives a mother greater hopes than her offspring? To see in her child the hopes and dreams of the future while her own begin to fade with her age. Prin Logan, christened Princess, lost her only child but adopted the orphan Morag Gunn, who, as a grown woman, gave birth to Pique. In this essay I will focus on the relationship between Morag and Prin and the effects it had on the former throughout her life - especially when it comes to her relationship with her daughter, Pique.The first time Morag meets Prin, there is no identification. She is immediately turned down by Prin's appearance: "She is so fat - can she be a person?"(24). Instead of seeing in Prin a comforter, a supplement mother, a grown up person, she sees a large woman, with whom she has difficulties connecting. She seems to be in a state of shock for some time because the first year with Prin and Christie, her "memories do not exist at all." (25)The first sign of Morag's affection for Prin is also her first sign of guilt for loathing her large stepmother. She hates going to the store to get doughnuts for Prin because of the bad talk she hears there. Prin, who has then already begun to slip into a world of her own, apologizes for not taking better care of Morag and confesses to having lost a child herself. Morag is shocked and for the first time discovers a similarity between herself and Prin, which is the desire in every woman to have a child. Morag realizes she has not exactly been the model daughter and she is also sorry: "Prin's good good good."(36)In the coming years Prin gets more distant and Morag gets more ashamed of her with every pound she puts on. The church is the only place where they go together. When Morag is still in Sunday class, an old paper picture hangs on the wall, a picture named "The Mothers of Salem Bringing Their Children to Jesus" (63). Despite her grotesque appearance, Prin never fails to bring her child to Jesus. Morag tries to cope with her disgust for Prin but is increasingly embarrassed by her: "Morag stands behind Prin, the back row of the church, hating her own embarrassment but hugging it around her."(88) This battle of mixed feelings for the only mother she has really known ends with the triumph of the importance of public opinion or, even more importantly, her own disgust. Morag decides to stop going to church with Prin: "She loves Prin, but can no longer bear to be seen with her in public."(89) It is interesting to notice that there is no place in the novel where Morag is actually teased directly because of Prin's excessive weight. If something, she is given a harder time because of Christie rather than Prin, at least as far as we know. The loathing she has for Prin seems to come from within herself rather than the environment.Morag is happy when she starts working at Simlow's Ladies' Wear. It is there she discovers her femininity and establishes an identity outside her home. Millie, a co-worker, teaches her...

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