Mask Of Motherhood In Susan Maushart's Theories

Decent Essays
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,

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Throughout the story Tan structures her writing by presenting a conflict between the mother and daughter in the story, delivering the message of what a parent-to-kid relationship is like using first person narration. Tan uses her language in the story to engage the readers by creating conflicts. In addition she characterizes the protagonist as someone who thinks she is not good at anything because she is who she is. Automatically the language in the story is set to negativity. Therefore a conflict between Jing Mei and her mother is created within the story that leads to more conflicts as her mother wants her to be someone that is not her.…

    • 1325 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Atwood takes her readers through the fundamentalist views of Gilead and the misogynistic views of the society. In the near future, the author hints that the social course humans follow may lead to unwanted effects. Sexism becomes normal and women are forced into different groups of status. The wives, handmaids, marthas, aunts, and so on, all complete different roles placed upon them. Offred, along with all the other handmaids, become surrogate mothers for the wives.…

    • 696 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    However, the death of Lydia can very much be symbolic too. It could be a metaphor for the on-going problems women face in modern society, and how society’s expectations of what women and wives should be, ha-ven’t evolved. In conclusion, the novel ‘Everything I never told you’ explains the struggles women face in breaking society’s gender roles. As stated in the introduction, the novel is a critique on women’s rights and society’s patriarchal ideology. As the analysis has shown both Lydia and Marilyn struggle to find themselves due to expectations and disappointments from each other and society.…

    • 850 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Grandissimes Analysis

    • 1355 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Cable symbolizes the hopeless feeling within many women by giving this response, and this allows the readers to observe how much society’s constant grasp on women to be bystanders within society has metamorphized into making them even believe themselves that they are limited on what they can or cannot do within society. Similarly, in The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the Southern Quarterly, Watson makes an excellent point about the internal conflict Aurora and Clotilde face when stating, “Most of the characters are forced to struggle with contradictory feelings, to question long-held attitudes and beliefs, to redefine themselves and their relationships with others” (Watson 118). Starvation along with many other conflicts forces Aurora and Clotilde to want to break free from the generic role of how a woman shall act. Aurora and Clotilde are sick and tired of having to abide by society’s expectancies just because they are of higher aristocracy. Consequently, one can see the internal conflicts held within each of them, to go against society and become…

    • 1355 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    and though the practice is a large part of Haitian culture, Westerners often view it as unorthodox and sexually abusive. Danticat depicts “testing” in her novel as a means of discussing postcolonial feminist issues which are often misunderstood and rarely even discussed in mainstream feminist literature. Similar to the internalized misogyny depicted in The Handmaid’s Tale, women in Breath, Eyes, Memory facilitate their own oppression by “testing” their daughters as they were once “tested” by their mothers. At one point, Sophie, an adult at this point, asks her mother why she “tested” her when she was young. Her mother responds: "I did it…because my mother had done it to me.…

    • 1081 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She thinks. She analyses all the dark corners of her soul. She introspects and judges life, relationships and chooses her way of living that she will live in the present circumstances only by making herself courageous enough to fight against the unwanted situation. Saru carries within her the sad effects of gender discrimination but her feminism springs out as a reaction to this discriminatory psychological set up of society and her parents in particular. It is to be noted that Saru, at the end of the novel, has come to realize that her profession as a doctor is her own and she will decide what to do with it.…

    • 1789 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Chopin uses the childbirth scene as an impetus for Edna’s defiance that has been building throughout the novel against the injustice in women’s role in society. During Adele’s childbirth scene, Chopin uses terms that depict woman’s role in society as isolated and powerless that prompt Edna’s defiance against such injustices. Edna’s thoughts during Adele’s childbirth scene reveal her building insurgence towards her role as a mother, and as a woman. As Edna reflects on her own experience with childbirth, Chopin uses targeted diction that depicts Edna’s feeling of distance with words such as “far away,” “unreal,” and “half remembered.” (169) By describing the experience of childbirth as distant, Chopin is highlighting the isolation of womanhood.…

    • 486 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Following the birth of Charlotte Perkins Stetson’s daughter, Katherine, Charlotte began making claims of having postpartum depression. These claims were dismissed because women were often seen as “nervous” and “hysterical” beings during her time period. This experience is clearly portrayed by Perkins Stetson through her story, The Yellow Wallpaper. The author’s largely feminist views on the world and her involvement in feminist groups is imperative to one’s realization of the satirical work at play in her short…

    • 840 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As being said, mother and daughter are always the essence key of women’s scuffle in feminist philosophy. Moreover, it is even harder when putting motherhood and women identity together. Irigaray said, “When I speak of the relationship to the mother, I want to say that, in our patriarchal culture, the daughter may absolutely not determine her relationship to her mother. Nor the woman her relationship to maternity, unless it is to reduce herself to it.” (Irigaray 56). What if mother’s nurturing sometimes suffocates the daughter and she is now treated as all-empowering mother?…

    • 1832 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Flight: a re-evaluation of Dee in Alice Walker 's ‘Everyday Use,’” written by Susan Farrell, the writer compares the complex relationship between mother, rebellious daughter and compliant daughter. In the this source, Farrell argues that Momma does not have an accurate perspective towards her daughters, Maggie and Dee. Susan Farrell states in her written source a Such a reading condemns the older, more worldly sister, Dee, as "shallow," "condescending," and "manipulative," thus as lacking a "true" understanding of her heritage. Several readers have pointed out that Mama 's view of Maggie is not quite accurate--that Maggie is not as passive or as "hangdog" as she appears. Might Mama 's view of her older daughter, Dee, not be especially accurate as well?…

    • 1085 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics