Mask Of Motherhood In Susan Maushart's Theories

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Margaret Laurence’s novel, The Fire-Dwellers, evidently illustrates Susan Maushart’s theory, the Mask of Motherhood, through the protagonist, Stacey MacAindra struggles to cope and maintain a balance between her internal and external self, the pressure to be a “good” mother, and her consistent self-blame. In her theory, Maushart discusses how the mask of motherhood oppresses women and their ability to freely talk about how they really feel. Furthermore, she talks about the side-effects that may occur due to this oppression and ridiculous double-standards that society puts on mothers (Maushart, 2007). Though the novel is in third-person, Laurence uses a simple dash to illustrate Stacey’s inner-thoughts and true feelings towards each situation. By doing so, it …show more content…
This essay will provide various examples that will demonstrate how Stacey is wearing a disguise that hinds the inner conflict she is experiencing on a daily-basis, while keeping her silent about her inner-thoughts. Susan Maushart is an American sociologist who covers a wide-range of topics throughout her novels and articles, including the issues related to motherhood. This issue is well discussed in her 2001 novel, The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Our Lives and Why We Never Talk About It. This novel is well summarized in Andrea O’Reilly’s Maternal Theory Essential Readings. In this novel, Maushart describes the Mark of Motherhood a disguise that “keeps women silent about what they are feeling and suspicious of what they know” (Maushart, 2007, p. 461). According to Maushart, this mask creates a divide between women who have children and those who don’t. To further prove this point, she gathers up two groups of individuals, ones with children and ones without, and asked them the same question: “Do you believe there is a ‘great divide’ separating parent from non-parents in our society” (Maushart,

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