Connie in Joyce Carol Oates’s story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” desperately wants to be independent from her family, while Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” pathetically yearns for inclusion. In this story, Oates pays special attention to the mother-daughter relationship and the lack of meaningful communication between them. Connie's mother is an image of the future Connie doesn't want – the life of a domestic housewife. Connie has a love-hate relationship with her mother, with whom she identifies, but at the same time she has to distance herself from her mother in order to establish her independence. On the other hand, The Metamorphosis, a story by Franz Kafka, is about a man who has been transformed into a giant beetle
In “Good Country People,” by Flannery O’Connor, the protagonist’s internal struggle with her identity stems from both an undiagnosed mental disorder and a lack of parental guidance since her traumatic accident. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) causes 32-year-old Joy Hopewell to be a perpetual teenager, which affects her relationships as an adult. In addition, Joy’s mother's parenting style was based off of pity from the accident resulting in an absence of guidance during Joy’s formative years. As a teenager, Joy gets accustomed to receiving unsolicited pity from everyone, which burdens her later in life. Thus, by being pitied, Joy expresses discontent with her life by acting out in a rebellious state.
In her childhood, Sissy did not care if the attention she got from her mother was good or bad, as long as Rose acknowledged that she was there. Sissy is very loyal to her mother, loving her, craving her attention. However, after Rose leaves, Sissy learns to break her loyalties with her mother, move on, and build her own life. In The Patron Saint of Liars, relationships are built on the characters’ loyalty to each other. Rose’s total lack of loyalty is what spurs the novel across the country, beginning with Rose leaving her husband.
When Emily was little she had to stay with other people because her mom had to work. Her mother is persuaded to send her to a covalent home and Emily had a difficult time there because they didn’t allow any of the girls to keep personal belongings or "love anyone" (Olsen). After Emily came back from the covalent home, she became distant and refused her mother's attempts of comfort. A bright spot in Emily's life is her gift in comedy. The biggest obstacle for Emily would be not believing that she is helpless to the hardships life has thrown at
Flannery O’Connor’s Good Country People is a short story mostly centralized around a thirty-two year old woman named Joy. Joy works alongside her mother Mrs. Hopewell who owns a farm out in the boondocks of Georgia. Joy has a wooden leg due to a childhood accident. Joy has a strong belief in atheism and holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Due to the depressing life that Joy lives she finds that her name does not suit her characteristics whatsoever, she goes so far as to change her name to “Hulga”, a rather ugly name that her mother does not find very suitable.
Hulga’s mother is not able to comprehend Hulga’s situation. Hulga even thinks that her mother is not able to turn Hulga’s “dust into Joy” (369). Her mother still thinks of her as a young child, but Hulga, who is thirty, feels as if she is trapped in a place that is not benefitting her at
This theme is subtly shown throughout the story, but becomes more apparent after the main event, the slaughter. After Date Bed is presumed missing, Mud, despite the fact that she is not of She-S blood, shows concern for her friend and adopted family member throughout the story – “It is just as well that Mud’s thoughts can’t be heard because what she is thinking is, “I’m the one who loves her. None of you loves her as I do,” and the uselessness of her love arouses her to such a pitch of anguish that she thinks of returning to the plain and searching for Date Bed on her own” (Gowdy, 105). The other She-S’s feel the same way as well – She-Snorts states, “I would not go to The Safe Place…knowing that Date Bed might still be alive and lost” (Gowdy, 249). If the She-S’s didn’t care for their family as much, they would have abandoned all thought of Date Bed and wouldn’t bother searching for her.
She says: “Maybe she had listened through the walls and heard nothing, the stagnant silence of our unhappy house” (114). Lena is associating the loudness of her neighbor’s home with the love she expects from her own mother, and the silence of her house so strongly opposes that which she expects. This stark contrast of home lives showcases how different cultures approach motherhood, which really reinforces the idea of being American versus being Chinese that is explored so much in this novel. Lena desperately wants her mother to understand the expectations associated with motherhood in America, and doesn’t understand why her relationship with her mother is so much more broken than her peers’ relationships. Without these expectations from both Lena and Ying-Ying about how it is acceptable to mother, their relationship would have endured significantly less
She clings to her past, telling stories irrelevant to her current standings in life, retelling stories such as a "Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain when [she]... received- seventeen-gentelman callers"(13). Being that Amanda is a single mother with two children, her story of many gentleman callers is her living in her past glory, which handicaps her present life. She hopes for her daughter, Laura, to also be an object of a man's desire and love, to have many gentleman callers just as she did, but Laura is slightly disabled and terribly shy. Her attempt to garner a mate for Laura is a painful attempt to live through her daughter's life, and the entire scheme fails miserably leaving Amanda and Laura more hopeless than
She is an outcast forced to live on the outskirts of the town. She is an independent woman who cares for her daughter Pearl alone. Hester is a round and complex character whose change throughout the story is well discussed by the narrator. She starts out as an outcast struggling to live with her daughter. She is bitter towards the town that shamed and ostracized her.