“Adam and Eve” by Ani Difranco and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid are two literary works that speak to the issue of how important it is to have a mother in a daughter’s life. It is the life experience(s) that can only be communicated to a daughter by her mother. The emotions, feeling and understanding of the female experience of what a woman goes through in life. When a young lady does not receive this information for the female prospective is the difference between socialites view and becoming of a “bad” or “good” girl.
It is critical to have a mother in the life of a daughter to provide emotional balance, feeling and understanding from a woman’s point of view. In this comparison of “Girl”, a short story and “Adam and Eve”, the poem I hope to demo straight the importance of having a mother in a daughter’s life. Both writers had their mother in their early life. It is when each writer reached adolescence, this is where each of their lives and relationships began to change. Ms. Kincaid mother had another child and Ms. DiFranco mother moves away.
These two events had a profound effect on these two young ladies. A set into motion some life changing events for each. Ms. Kincaid sought refuge in writing because of the decrease in attrition for her mother. Ms. DiFranco sought refuge in music after her mother moved away and Ms. DiFranco did not want to go with her mom. These events could have not come at a worst time in the young ladies lives. This is when they needed their mothers the most, so as to help them through emotional and physical changes to come.
I must note that this is a period of change for males as well in relationship to the primary male role model the Father. Nevertheless, It is important for the parent to help guide this child through this rough time in life. For this period shall set in place the core decision-making process, moral compass and how the child shall be and will be perceived by the world they live in. This is shown in each of the writer’s works in how Ms. Kincaid received some of her mother’s guidance during her adolescence, though limited.
However, Ms. DiFranco chooses not to remain with her mother and strike out on her Owen, with no guidance from mom. As I look at this from a male prospective or point of view. I must make this disclaimer that “I am no woman, nor do I or can begin to understand the complex thoughts, feeling and emotion of a woman. ” Therefore I must refer to literary works in relation to the subject matter on mother and daughter relationship. In one work addressing this relationship, noting form a feminist psychoanalytic view.
“How we acquire our heritage of these ideas and laws of human society within the unconscious mind. “In spite of cetain limitations to which I shall return, it helps us to understand how the laws underlying and underwriting patriarchy function within each of us, whether male or female, and how they affect our most intimate relationship. ” (Hissch pg. 203-4). In my exploration on the relationship between a daughter and mother, I have determined this relationship to a very complex one. From the initial birth of the daughter until adolescent the relationship is one of intense emotional bonding, learning, some immolation and abundant joy.
It is when a daughter reaches puberty that a dramatic change occurs and the relationship takes on a whole different meaning. Is though two best friends have now in some way declared unrestrictive war on an emotional level. And this war is to be fought over the next four to eight years, if not longer. This similar to what fathers and sons go through during this time as well, just not as the emotional intensity of mothers and daughters, I think. In most of the example cases, in my reading, peace dose eventually come. However, in some cases the war cost can be so detrimental that the relationship cannot or may never be resolved.
This is the true tragedy in once a mother has passed away, there is no opportunity for resolution. When reading the works of Ms. Kincaid and Ms. DiFranco you can see the influence and lack of motherly in the author’s writings. In Ms. Kincaid’s work Girl” one can see the instructional advice being given to a child for her betterment. The mother is explaining to her daughter on how she should represent herself when in public. How to be attractive, self reliant, respected without being promiscuous. How a woman is not just to be used a sex object.
She is being told what it is to be a woman and how to live as a woman. A writer named Carol Bailey shares the same analogy of “Girl”. Her take interpretation of this story is an induction into the community of women. Also, additional instructions as it relates to domestic chores, social relations and moral conduct; “they include how to: “wash white cloths,” plant dasheen,” throw away a child,” and “bully a man. ” (Bailey pg. 107). An adult person believed to be the girl’s mother is clearly giving these instructions to the young girl. In this Carrabin social community the role of the woman is clearly defined.
Therefore, it is in the young girl best interest to take heed and apply to life what she is learning. In contrast to Ms. DiFranco’s poem “Adam And Eve” a darker tone is in play. This poem represents a woman who appears in one of free love. She lives in the moment and has no care or regrets for any of her actions. She is extremely free spirited and opened to almost any view on life. To this woman life is what it is and she is going to do things her way and only her way. There is a point in the poem where she may question her actions “I am truly sorry about all this” (DiFranco pg. 263), but demises it and continue on.
The poem is a reflection of a young woman truly left to figure out who she is and where she is going. In researching for additional analogies of this poem I found little and next to nothing. Therefore I shall have to support my findings with interpretations from the biblical story of “On Reason, Faith, and Freedom in “Paradise Lost. ” by William Walker. I shall specifically be referring to Eve, as she is the one the serpent came to in the story. Eve shall represent Ms. A. DiFranco, God shall represent Ms. DiFranco’s mother, and the Serpent various other persons in her life.
Note, the serpent is neither evil nor good, just someone presenting the information to this young lady. In the beginning of Ms. DiFranco, God, is in her life, providing advice, guidance and the basic skills for life. As Ms. A. DiFranco reaches adolescent it is just a few years into the transitioning phase that Ms. DiFranco, God, decides to move. Ms. DiFranco tells her daughter about the up coming move and her daughter does not want to move. It can be surmised that a heated debate ensued and the mother move away and her daughter was left to fend for herself, based on the daughter’s own decision.
I note here the Ms. A. DiFranco is only sixteen at this time in her life. This is a critical and vulnerable age for any child not having a parent in their life, providing good advice, guidance and well being. Ms. DiFranco, having survived the initial trials of being on her own, is exposed to the influences of other people, the serpents. These individuals are giving and providing advice, guidance, and suggestion of what she should and should not do. Ms. DiFranco only having little knowledge of the world and how other people could harm her just by the power suggestion.
She left without the unconditional love of a mother to help guide her through these trying times. This opens a pathway to a dark and troubled way of life. All the while Ms. DiFranco confronted with experimentation and trying to identify with what and who she truly is. What do I want to be, where do I want to go, how am I to live my life, do I like men or women? There are many, many things happen simultaneously in Ms. DiFranco’s life and she still has mother to guide her.
Please know that not all of the other people in Ms. DiFranco’s life have anything but ill will intentions for her. There are more than a few people will the help and provide a positive example and guidance. No can know evil or good without experiencing one or the other. This is how we learn and develop the knowledge of both. “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid and “Adam and Eve” Poem by Ani DiFranco demonstrate how significant it is for a mother to be in a daughter’s life. In these two particular ladies lives one had a mother present through all of her transitional period of adolescent and one only had her mother through half of this time.
Neither of the authors is considered to bad or good people, this is not the point. What I am trying to state is simply this there is no substitute for not having a mother in a daughter’s life. This is a relationship that can only be developed and nurtured by unique understanding between two women. You have one woman with many, many years of knowledge and experience of just being a woman and the other woman in transition to womanhood. There is based truly on an emotion bond that starts at the initial creation of life and continues on from there.
This bond is strengthened after birth and is constantly reinforced throughout the life of the daughter. Mother’s teaches the daughter what it is to be a girl, a pre-teen, teenager, young adult, and then a mother. Mother’s informs and instructs the daughter on the ways of the world and how she is perceived and how to perceive this world she lives in. Mother’s provides insight as to have the daughter should act, represent her and be received by others. This is truly a special bond and this is why it is so important for a mother to be in her daughter’s life.