Sing Unburied Sing Lee Analysis

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Best of the Worst Parenting is never perfect. Every parents questions whether they are raising their child correctly, and no parent ever feels like they are doing the right thing. With no clear distinction between good and bad parenting, it is usually left to personal preferences and judgements to decide which parents have adequately raised their children and which have failed. When a parent so call “fails,” often it is the children with their strong will and determination to survive that collectively raise themselves. In Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, Leonie, one of the narrators and the mother of another narrator, Jojo, is not the most caring, hands-on mother, but is loving of her children nevertheless. Leonie is not just the failed mother most make her out to be because her thoughts are in the right place, trying the best she can given her own circumstances, but her past and her own childhood haunts her too …show more content…

Firstly, Jojo does “not hear Mama in my head, but her name: Leonie” (16), which shows that on a subconscious level, he does not think of her as a maternal figure. Jojo fails to recognize Leonie as a maternal figure because she does such a poor job taking care of him. On the car ride up to Parchman, Leonie leaves both Jojo and Kayla hungry and thirsty the whole way up and only thinks of herself when she stops for gas: “Leonie hands me the same thirty dollars I saw Misty hand to her when she got in the car this morning and looks at me like she didn’t hear me say I’m thirsty” (64). Having not eaten in a long time, “[Jojo is so] hungry and thirsty: [his] throat a closing hand, [his] stomach a burning fist…now [Leonie] says no” (84). Since Leonie doesn’t even take care of Jojo and Kayla’s basic survival needs of food and water, she forces Jojo and Kayla to fight for their own survival and figure out their childhoods

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