"Mother" by Grace Paley_
The story under the title “Mother” written by Grace Paley is in the form of the author’s recollections of the parents, mainly of the mother. We are informed that one day listening to the radio the author realized the deep sense in the song “Oh, I Long to See My Mother in the Doorway”.
The fact is many of the mentioned memories are displayed with the mother standing in the doorway. It’s obvious this detail carries some meaning for us. And reading we come across the following sentence which seems of great importance to us: “she did stand frequently in various doorways”. It demonstrates the mother wasn’t satisfied with the narrator’s behavior or actions, perhaps was even angry, and just wanted to give a parental lesson to the child as many mothers do. Perhaps the author wasn’t in agreement with such a teacher. Now, however, through a time – the author would be glad if the mother was alive, if she stood in the doorway like she used to.
So, speaking in general, the story is about love to our dear mothers, who try to do their best and to accomplish their first duty – bringing up well-bred, intelligent children, the followers of the human race. The author’s message to the readers is as follows – we shouldn’t neglect this love but cherish it and keep safely in our hearts as one day our mothers will be gone.
What concerns the style of the story, the author applied the familiar-colloquial style, used in very free, friendly, informal situations of communication. Such a swearword as “damned fool” can be a good evidence.
While reading the story, not once we find the represented speech of the characters:
“By God! I said, I understand that song.” or “She said, Go to sleep for godsakes…” This kind of a device intensifies the influence of the tale told to the readers.
The case of asyndeton in the following sentence helps to clear the dreams of the character concerning the mother: “Naturally for the rest of my life I longed to see her, not only in doorways, in a great number of places – in the dining room with my aunts, at the window looking up and down the block, in the country garden among zinnias and marigolds, in the living room with my father.”
Besides, the repetition of the pronoun “they” in the following sentences makes us decide the parents were a strong-united couple, sharing their views, interests and love: “They sat in comfortable leather chairs. They were listening to Mozart. They looked at one another amazed.”
It was quite enough to prove their love, but the author added some more sentences again with the repeated phrases to make an impression on us, illustrating their sympathy and respect to each other during the whole life: “It seemed to them that they’d just come over on the boat. They‘d just learned the first English words. It seemed to them that he had just proudly handed in a 100 percent correct exam to the American anatomy professor. It seemed as though she’d just quit the shop for the kitchen.”
So much love in such a little tale!
We should mention here as well the short sentences after each of the descriptions of the father and the mother. The author just says: “Then she died.” or “Then he died.” giving the reason to consider the narrator was not thinking of their death, took it for granted. The grief was no more important. Really important was the author’s realization of the song, the wish to see the mother, even if she was angrily staying in the doorway.
To crown it all I would like to support the author’s idea, as people are intended not to care of a thing when they have it and to sorry after losing it. Mothers – are those who gave us birth, so we must love them with all our heart.
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