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'Night, Mother Essay

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Metzger holds a Ph.D. and has a strong background in literature and drama education. In this essay she discusses issues of identity and autonomy.

A critical issue in 'night, Mother is the relationship between Jessie and her mother, Thelma. It is evident in Jessie's preparations for her suicide that she regards herself as her mother's primary caretaker. Jessie is responsible for her mother's diet, for the maintenance of the home, and for her mother's health, or so her Thelma lets her believe. In assuming so much control over her mother, Jessie has reversed the mother-daughter relationship and has become a mother to her own mother. It is little wonder, then, that she cannot-imagine an identity separate from her mother's. In deciding that she will kill herself, Jessie is finally establishing an identity of her own and setting a boundary between them that her mother cannot cross...

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This section contains 1,646 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the 'Night, Mother Study Guide
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'Night, Mother from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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