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A Focus On Mothers

6 Pages 1533 Words

A Focus on Mothers

Sweet Mystery, by Judith Paterson, Distant Son, by Norman McMillan, and My Mother’s Witness, a biography by Carolyn Haines, are all books that focus a great deal on a mother figure. That is to say that in each book the mother played a central role in the author’s life or, in the case of My Mother’s Witness, the mother played a central role in Peggy’s life, whom the book is written about. The mothers in these books; Emily, in Sweet Mystery, Lucille, in Distant Son, and Inez, in My Mother’s Witness, made such an impact on their children’s lives that the children have actually written, or have had someone else write, their own life stories, which heavily includes their mother’s role in each of their lives. Looking closely at each mother figure, there are several aspects that are very similar in each of their lives that the women handled in sometimes very different ways. Rearing children in a male dominated society, dealing with poverty, attitude toward the children, and attitude toward the children’s education are some of the aspects that lend themselves to comparison between the three mothers.
Emily Paterson, Lucille McMillan, and Inez Albritton all reared their children in the Deep South in the early to mid 1900’s in a world that was heavily dominated by men. Each of the women handled this predicament differently. Emily Paterson, in what initially appears to be an attempt to fit-in with her husband’s way of life, gave in to drinking alcohol, which was so much a part of her husband’s life. She also, when she was mentally able, did her best to ensure her husband would be happy – even at her own expense. Judith Patterson points out that Emily lost touch with many of her friends after she and her husband, Duke, married, because Duke was uncomfortable with the group of women. But Emily never gave Duke complete control over her life. Judith Patterson, writing about her mother’s refus...

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