A braid of loneliness Essay

A braid of loneliness Essay

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“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” –Mother Teresa
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris is a novel about Native American, narrated by three generations of Indian women; Ida the grandmother, Christine the mother, and Rayona. The stories of three people, “twisting and tying and blending,” fabricate the braid of their relationship. Each of three strands is a complicated composition of hairlines. There is a hairline that all strands have in common and shape this braid: loneliness. Through the story, loneliness played a crucial part in every character’s life. It is the important cause of characters’ action. It shapes the relationship between mother and daughter. Ultimately, one’s loneliness shapes not only that character, but also affects and causes the loneliness in the next generation.
The first character who tells her story is Rayona. Being the last generation, she is in the bottom of the well of loneliness. After her parents separated, Rayona lives with Christine, her mother, who habitually changes her job and moves to the new place. Consequently, she never stays in any schools long enough to make some friends. Her life with Christine is also bitter. In Rayona’s opinion, Christine does not take care of her much. She said “I try to recall what Mom says when she’s sentimental and lonesome: how he was the best one, the only one, because he left her me. How I’m her sterling silver lining, the one who’ll never leave her like he did. Like she did me.” (64) She is disappointed by Christine’s care that exists only in her speech. Lacking of both friends and warm family, Rayona suffered from loneliness.
When she goes back to the reservation with Christine to stay with Aunt Ida, Chris...


... middle of paper ...


... ease her with the warmth of my body, to support her with the strength of my arms. But she did not expect this from me, and I did not give it.”
The loneliness of mother is the unwanted gift. From generation to generation, the hairlines of loneliness twist and tie the braid of this family. It obstructs the hairline of love. It obstructs the hairline of care. It leads the braid of this family to nowhere. Loneliness is a cell that imprisons mother’s love from reaching the daughter, leaves them feeling unloved, and became lonely. This baneful hairline will continuously distort the braid until they realize. Until they realize that the solution is turning back to face the reality, holding hands and let the truth comes out, then, the three-generation-long loneliness will disappear. The braid will be set in the right shape and tie the family members together with love.

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