The Need Symbols & Objects

Phillips, Helen
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Breast Milk

Breast milk is a recurring motif in the story, and the narrative uses it as a symbol of both the fulfillment and degradation of motherhood. On one hand, Molly feels a sense of fulfillment whenever she nurtures and nourishes her children. However, the involuntary presence of the breast milk sometimes gives her uncomfortable animalistic sense, as well as a sense of obligation.

David’s Absence

David’s absence symbolizes the persistent presence of sexist double standards. David is often out of town for work, thereby leaving Molly to take on a much larger share of parenting. Despite the fact that David is never presented as cruel or sexist, his failure to evenly divide parental responsibilities is, in certain ways, inherently misogynistic.

Moll

Moll symbolizes the inherent fears, worries, and anxieties of parenting. It is possible to interpret the novel in a way such that Moll...

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This section contains 644 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Need  Study Guide
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