Moralism In Salvage The Bones

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Teenagers often wish their parents would leave them alone. However, in Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, Esch Batiste wishes just the opposite. With her mother dead and her father distant, she lacks a guiding force in life. Parents should be the first and longest lasting teachers in a child’s life, passing on lessons and offering support for their growth. Not having parental figures is tragically detrimental to a child’s maturation, leaving them alone to figure out the world, which often comes with the cost of making misinformed decisions. As Esch is thrust into adult life, she strains to remember the teachings of her mother and is often left lonely and without instructions on how to stay alive and love herself as a woman. Esch relies on her…show more content…
For Esch Batiste, this means that her parents can tell her about who and what she comes from. Knowing the history of one 's family and the power of one 's genes can provide strength. In a memory of Mama, Esch recalls how she danced, commenting that “She was beautiful”(93). Another time, Esch remembers how Mama caught a baby shark and “walked it tired. . . . coaxed it to death”(85). Both of these memories are very revealing about Mama’s character. She was a strong woman, capable of catching sharks while also being extremely beautiful. If Mama was all of this, and she gave life to Esch, then Esch should also possess all of these qualities. They are in her DNA, in her bones, her brain, and her hands. Everything that made Mama great makes Esch great as well. The only problem is that Esch does not know she has inherited power. The few years she remembers Mama are not enough to convince her. The truth, however, is that Esch can control the sharks in her life, Manny, just as Mama could, and Esch is as beautiful as Mama was. Daddy is too busy and absent-minded to reveal this to Esch, so she goes on the journey of discovery by herself. A journey that she accomplishes, but not with the ease she should have been able

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