The Unique Role Of The Mother

2099 words - 8 pages

The Unique Role of the Mother

The discussion about our mother always evokes strong emotions in us. And it should! After all, we lived in her womb for nine months even before we experienced the light of this world. When we try to explain to others what she means to us, or what a mother should be like or do, each of us has a different expression. Each mother is, after all, different. The unique role of the mother will be viewed through the inspection of three short stories: "Boys and Girls" by Alice Munro, "The Boarding House" by James Joyce, and "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen.
The old, traditional view on the role of the mother is that of the female parent taking primary care of the children and the household. The mother is the hub of the wheel within the home, making sure everything runs smoothly. In "Boys and Girls" by Alice Munro, the mother actively plays this part. Although she has no apparent dynamic role within this story, the nameless caretaker has a vital function within each of her family member's life, and plays the role of the socially accepted neutral fixture of the household. It is her job to be the continuous keeper of the home. Throughout the story, the mother remains in the background, buzzing about, taking care of everything around the house:
My mother was too tired and preoccupied to talk to me, she had no heart to tell me about the Normal School Graduation Dance; sweat trickled over her face and she was always counting under her breath, pointing at the jars, dumping cups of sugar. It seemed to me that work done in the house was endless, dreary and peculiarly depressing…. (530)1
It is apparent from the reader's point of view that the mother's place was in the home.
It was an odd thing to see my mother down at the barn. She did not often come out of the house unless it was to do something—hang out the wash or dig potatoes in the garden. She looked out of place, with her bare, lumpy legs, not touched by the sun, her apron still on and damp across the stomach from the supper dishes. (529)
It is overlooked that the father would also look out of place if he were inside the house during his workday, invading his wife's territory, unless it was, of course, to come in for his prepared meal at lunchtime. Through the daughter's descriptions, the reader can see that the father does his imperative work outside the home, and the mother's job was not considered as being important: "work done out of doors, and in my father's service, was ritualistically important" (530). It is evident within the happenings of the story that the mother is not necessarily appreciated for what she dutifully does for her family. "My mother, I felt, was not to be trusted….You could not depend on her, and the real reasons for the things she said and did were not to be known" (530). Yet, the narrator's mother went out of her way for everyone else, neglecting herself. "She would tie her hair up [in a kerchief] in the morning,...

Find Another Essay On The Unique Role of the Mother

Unique Design of the Vietnam War Memorial

826 words - 3 pages Unique Design of the Vietnam War Memorial At the age of twenty one, a female undergraduate at Yale University named Maya Lin submitted her design for the Vietnam Memorial. Her idea for the memorial was extremely unique and controversial. After long discussions by a panel, it was chosen for construction. The design that she submitted was one that was very different in comparison to other memorials, and it was one that has a tendency

The Unique Experience of Women Slaves

1834 words - 7 pages Women slaves were subject to unusually cruel treatment such as rape and mental abuse from their master’s, their unique experience must have been different from the experience men slaves had. While it is no secret that the horrors of the institution of slavery were terrible and unimaginable; those same horrors were no big deal for southern plantation owners. Many engaged in cruelty towards their slaves. Some slave owners took particular interest

The Everglades: Florida's Unique Landscape of Change

2448 words - 10 pages has been condensed to half of its original size (Willard et al 1-2). The Everglades is actually a sub-region of the Southern Coastlands region of the United States. It is comprised of a unique climate, divided into sub-provinces that create a diverse pallet of environments for wildlife to thrive, yet the impact of human modifications over a period of decades has drastically effected animal populations, and changed the functionality and physical

The Unique History of Alabama State University

1518 words - 6 pages The Unique History of Alabama State University "One must return to the past in order to move forward", is an old African proverb that has been used to explain the purpose of studying history. This African proverb not only refers to the study of American history, but also the study of one's family history. Another saying that has been used to refer to the study of history is, "You must learn your history, or you are bound to repeat it." These

The Historical Background of Prussia's Unique Military

1953 words - 8 pages The Historical Background of Prussia's Unique Military Prussia was unique in that, more than in any other country, the army developed a life of its own, almost independent of the life of the state. The distinctive military history of Prussia was developed early on it its history from the origins of the Teutonic knights and brought to a level of perfection throughout the reigns of Frederick William the

Discuss the role of Maurya in ‘The Riders to the Sea’ as a ‘mother’ and ‘priest.’

1074 words - 4 pages ;"No man at all can be living forever, and we must be satisfied."In the beginning of the play, we find Maurya to be an old woman who sits by the fire, worrying about the future and her family. We find Maurya to be a weak character, a beaten mind. Yet, by the end of the play, she rises as the strongest character of the play, elevating herself from the role of a concerned mother to the role of a true priest, accepting the reality and calmly

Discuss The Role Of Maurya In ‘The Riders To The Sea’ As A ‘Mother’ And ‘Priest.’

1332 words - 6 pages ;"No man at all can be living forever, and we must be satisfied."In the beginning of the play, we find Maurya to be an old woman who sits by the fire, worrying about the future and her family. We find Maurya to be a weak character, a beaten mind. Yet, by the end of the play, she rises as the strongest character of the play, elevating herself from the role of a concerned mother to the role of a true priest, accepting the reality and calmly

Discuss the role of Maurya in ‘The Riders to the Sea’ as a ‘mother’ and ‘priest.’

1074 words - 4 pages ;"No man at all can be living forever, and we must be satisfied."In the beginning of the play, we find Maurya to be an old woman who sits by the fire, worrying about the future and her family. We find Maurya to be a weak character, a beaten mind. Yet, by the end of the play, she rises as the strongest character of the play, elevating herself from the role of a concerned mother to the role of a true priest, accepting the reality and calmly

The Unique Red Panda

942 words - 4 pages The Unique Red Panda Are you an animal lover? You should be, because there are so many species out there that you could learn about and that maybe you could discover someday. I want to learn more about some of them because of how each and everyone of them are so unique. When many people think that red pandas are just regular, boring animals; the fascinating creature is swinging on a tire swing. Speaking of unique creatures, the red panda

Pho - The Unique Dish

1103 words - 5 pages Although there are quite Vietnamese dishes that can get attracted of foreigners, Pho is still a whole different story. It makes people want to taste it once. Pho, now, can be considered as a national food from Vietnam; it is getting more popular than ever. Pho might be look vey simplistic, but it has a complex flavors. Depending on the region, there are so many ways to make a bowl of pho. It is very rare that somebody could eat a bowl of

The Role of a Mother in As I Lay Dying Written by William Faulkner

2498 words - 10 pages throughout it, as well as after it. Cora believes that motherhood is remarkable and it is her duty to love, nurture and care for her children, as well as her husband. However, Addie sees motherhood as a burden and feels used when she bares four children for Anse. Cora is more than content with being a mother and the caregiver of her household while Addie wants more than what the role of a typical woman in this age has to offer her. Thus, Faulkner

Similar Essays

The Role Of The Great Mother In Beowulf

2009 words - 8 pages The Role of the Great Mother in Beowulf Grendel's dam is not simply a "wandering fiend" (1621), a "swamp thing from hell" (1518), or a "troll-dam" (1391). She is an example of what Erich Neuhmann in his book, The Great Mother, calls an embodiment of the Great Mother in her "negative elementary character" (147). Her realms are the underworld, a cave below a lake, both symbols of the unconscious. She is begetter and child bearer

The Unique Contribution Of Anthropology Essay

865 words - 4 pages less appealing than Harrison Ford. Neither of these are accurate portrayals. There is a common notion that anthropology is the study of past cultures and the “primitive” man, and that it has little to contribute to modern understanding of humans, their cultures, and the societies they are part of. However, anthropology is very much relevant today, and is distinguishable from its fellow social sciences in its unique approach, method, and goals

Fbi's Unique Role In The United States Law Enforcement Community

1143 words - 5 pages The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a unique role in the United States law enforcement community. The FBI is not a national police force, unlike other nations (such as France, Italy, Spain and Columbia) where patrol units and first responders are organized under the national government. The FBI is purely an investigative and intelligence agency and focuses on cross jurisdictional crimes and national security issues. Its stated

The Revolt Of Mother Essay

925 words - 4 pages      In “The Revolt of Mother,” written by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, along with the narrator, we can experience how human beings communicate. Time and setting are the most important definitions of a person’s life. A person cannot change the time he lives in. He lives in the present, the past, or the future. However, his place in location, he is able to choose himself. If a person lives in a city, on a farm, in the