Theme Of Leaving Grandmaid's Tale

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Is emotional abandonment worse than the death of a loved one? Geneva Birdsong in Leaving Gilead emotionally abandoned her own daughter, Saranell. She cared more about herself and her own selfish ambitions. By the end of this novella by Pat Carr, Saranell experiences the effects of this neglect and has no one to turn to. Therefore, it’s better to lose a parent through death than through emotional abandonment. Geneva was no mother to Saranell; treating her like a slave and neglecting her from life experiences every child should have. In Leaving Gilead, Saranell went to her mother, in hopes of telling her of Ian Birdsong’s return. “No one in the house ever knew if the mistress of the plantation would open the door of her bedroom or if she’d…show more content…
“Although the bruises and scars of physical abuse are more readily apparent, the quiet assault of child neglect often does at least as much damage to its young victims” (Erickson and Egeland). Child neglect goes way beyond physical abuse. In Saranell’s case, she was emotionally abandoned by her own mother; leaving her to figure out life’s problems by herself. In Leaving Gilead, Geneva was almost raped by a confederate soldier while they were in an abandoned cabin. “ Saranell sprang to her feet and threw herself against the homespun Jean trousers and worsted shirt” (Carr 135). Even though Saranell was emotionally abandoned by Geneva, she still stood up for her mother. Regardless of the fact that she was emotionally neglected, Saranell continued to love her mother and was willing to sacrifice herself for her. Overall, emotional abandonment leaves children feeling unwanted with no one to turn to for help.
No child should go through the pain and neglect that Saranell felt in Leaving Gilead. Saranell feels the negative effects of being neglected. Although Geneva viewed her daughter as a waste of years, Saranell loved her still; getting nothing in return. The pain of neglect is far worse than the pain of losing a loved
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