Motherhood In Paul Auster's The Locked Room

1097 Words5 Pages
“The Natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your universe. You relinquish that position to your children” Jessica Lange. When a child is born, so is a mother. Some children require their mothers to be there at every waking moment but others learn to stand on their own early on in life. In the Story The Locked Room, by Paul Auster, Jane Fanshawe is introduced as a manipulative cold-hearted woman with sinister intentions, but societal pressures reveals this malicious woman to be a vulnerable mother. In the beginning, we meet Jane Fanshawe a widowed woman that is well in her fifties. She lives in solitude due to her daughter emission in a mental institution, and her son’s disappearance.…show more content…
She was upset that Fanshawe had given the present to his friend Tommy so he would have a gift for the birthday boy. It seemed like she was more concerned about her own reputation then her son’s good deed. Hester Vair stated in Work and Motherhood “When women respond to social situations, they put a higher priority on the effect action will have on the people involved than they do on universal rules of behavior”(Page 63). Women have been taught that their image mean everything, they always have to look, talk, and behave in a socially acceptable way. They have to look at the big picture meaning that their behavior will reflect how society will treat them. This has followed them into the stage of motherhood because they believe that their children are the products of their teaching. So a bad child would mean a bad mother. Jane was so fixated to meet the standards of society that she took it out on her son by getting angry at him. Fanshawe’s action may have been out of good intention but that wasn’t what the other mother saw. They saw a kid showing up to a birthday party without a present. Then these ladies would link Fanshawe’s behavior to the mother that did not raise him with good…show more content…
Even though Fanshawe wasn’t actually dead he was to her because he would never listen to Jane or refer to her in his letter. She wasn’t able to cope with the loss of Fanshawe, so she looks for someone like him. Lorena Olivas wrote “Relationships with the context of continuing bond theory can take the form of what is known as active inner representation of the deceased, which may include memories, feeling, and behavior” (page 40). Jane was desperate to find the love that Fanshawe didn’t give to her because he was gone. When she rekindled her relationship with the narrator she was reminiscing her past and found these lost feelings in him. It wasn’t that she was trying to manipulate the narrator to have sex with him but rather she was trying to find the love of Fanshawe within his best friend. The narrator was the inner representation of Fanshawe because he knew everything about him, so sleeping with him was the only way that Jane could be closer to her
Open Document