Motherhood in The Summer Before the Dark by Kate Brown and The Fifth child by Harriet Lovatt

Motherhood in The Summer Before the Dark by Kate Brown and The Fifth child by Harriet Lovatt

Length: 5038 words (14.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Motherhood in The Summer Before the Dark by Kate Brown and The Fifth child by Harriet Lovatt


Motherhood is a traditional role for women. From the time they are young, girls are taught to grow up, marry and become mothers. Of course they can do other things with their lives like play sports, have careers, and travel, but an overwhelming amount of women want to be mothers no matter what else they accomplish with their lives. It is common knowledge that being a good mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It is to forever have a special link with another person or people and have a tremendous influence, maybe the most tremendous influence over their lives. Motherhood is a roller coaster ride for women, full of ups and downs, fears and accomplishments. But what happens when motherhood defines who a woman is? All children grow up, and while a woman is always a mother, children need their mothers less and less until eventually their dependence is very minimal. What happens to the woman whose singular role and purpose is no longer needed? In The Summer Before The Dark, and The Fifth Child, the maternal roles of Kate Brown, and Harriet Lovatt are analyzed and traditional motherhood behavior is deconstructed due to these characters’ experiences and relationships with their children.

     Kate Brown is the typical middle class, attentive mother who dedicates her entire life to raising her children and being a supportive wife to her husband. She has been a mother for the vast majority of her life, and that is the only role she has known. “Her first child had been born at twenty-two. The last was born well before she was thirty” (Lessing, 18). This novel takes place when Kate is forty- five, so for 23 years, Kate has been a mother and a wife. This has been the basis of her existence. “Kate’s four children have structured her existence, as can be seen in her almost “maternal” responses to young people she encounters in her life” (Lee, 17). All Kate knows how to do is be a mother and take care of other people. This is apparent in her relationships with people at Global Food, (the place where she is hired to be a translator), and with both Jeffrey her younger lover) and Maureen, (her roommate). Her maternal instincts are extremely strong and at the beginning of the novel, it seems that is all that defines her. She comes to the realization that her younges...


... middle of paper ...


...other due to her young age and lack of exposure to the world. Harriet Lovatt had experience in the world but unleashed it when she became a mother in hopes of dedicating all her efforts to being a good mother, until eventually this very drive to be a good mother caused her world to crumble. She realized that in order to save herself, she would have to liberate the relentless drive to attain her goal of being a good mother. She had to let go just as Kate Brown did. For “ the woman with grown- up children and not enough to do, whose energies must be switched from the said children to less vulnerable targets, for everybody’s sake, her own as well as theirs” (www.galileo.usg.edu)

The last part of this quote is pivotal. The mothers must consider everyone involve, including themselves. They must take their own interests into account and care about how they will turn out in the long run. This act, itself, defies traditional motherhood roles. In all actuality, mothering is a selfless act and mothers think about themselves last, if at all. But sometimes, for the sake of themselves, their souls, and their families, mothers have to put themselves first for the sake of everyone involved.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Saltwater Summer by Roderick Haig-Brown Essay

- Saltwater summer is about a young man's first summer as a commercial salmon fisherman on the BC coast. Don Morgan is a seventeen-year-old who has made enough money trapping on northern Vancouver Island to buy himself a 32-foot West Coast salmon troller known as the Mallard. He thought this was all he wanted from life, now almost nothing about it was good. The fishing his first season began poor, and if things didn't pick up, the Mallard, which had only been his for three months, would have to be sold to repay old Shenrock for loaning him the money....   [tags: Saltwater Summer, Roderick Haig-Brown]

Free Essays
994 words (2.8 pages)

The Goals of Summer Essays

- When May comes for most kids only one thing is on their mind. Summer break. As they finish up their school the kids prepare for long lazy afternoons, swimming, and just being kids. They don’t need to worry about a paper that needs to be done or math homework. Instead they can just sit back and relax. I like many other kids however think of experience and worthwhile experiences when it comes to my summer break. While I certainly don’t want to leave out relaxing besides the beach, a summer break can give me experiences I couldn’t otherwise have such as practicing a new skill....   [tags: summer vacation, summer break]

Free Essays
419 words (1.2 pages)

The Role of Motherhood in Blood Wedding and Like Water for Chocolate Essay

- How do the mother and child relations, in the books, Blood Wedding and Like Water For Chocolate reveal the characteristics of the mothers. Mother and child relations are portrayed in our factual life, which affect the child, and it’s up bringing. Some relations are very solicitous and create a greater bond between each other, while some do not. The authors Federico Garcia Lorca and Laura Esquivel implement characters with relations of mother and child to show the characteristics of the mothers through their relations with their children, and form the plot....   [tags: Motherhood]

Powerful Essays
645 words (1.8 pages)

The Brown Principle Of The United States Essay

- Confined in application to by right (legitimately forced) isolation, the Brown principle was connected for the most part to Southern educational systems. After solid resistance, which prompted such occurrences as the 1957 Little Rock, Ark., school emergency, combination spread gradually over the South, under court orders and the risk of loss of government assets for rebelliousness. The Brown choice gave enormous driving force to the social equality development of the 1950s and 1960s, and rushed mix out in the open offices and facilities....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Powerful Essays
1530 words (4.4 pages)

Family Tradition : A Summer Vacation Essay

- Our imperative family tradition was a summer vacation. Completely neglecting any responsibilities for a week, vacations were the perfect excuse. Fostering an environment for bonding, our annual vacations helped in creating lifelong memories. According to a Disney Time Survey conducted by Kelton, 82% of time on vacation is considered family time. This finding is evident, especially in one of my recent vacations. The months preceding and following this specific family trip, were filled with various milestones which prohibited much bonding: my mother’s diagnosis of Lung Cancer, my older sister’s wedding day, and my senior year preparation....   [tags: Sibling, Family, Mother, Summer]

Powerful Essays
877 words (2.5 pages)

Surrogate Motherhood: Comparing Two Articles Essay

- “Time to Ban Surrogate Motherhood,” written by Lynda Hurst and “Surrogate Motherhood: Why it Should Be Permitted,” written by Allan C. Hutchinson, are persuasive texts where the authors’ attempts to influence the audience to agree with their side of the argument on surrogate motherhood. According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, surrogate motherhood is defined as, “a woman who bears a child for another person, often for pay, either through artificial insemination or by carrying until birth another woman's surgically implanted fertilized egg.” Since the persuasive works are published in different newspapers, one being The Toronto Star and the other being The Glob...   [tags: Surrogate Motherhood, ]

Powerful Essays
1324 words (3.8 pages)

The Marxist Formula in Emecheta's The Joys of Motherhood Essay

- The Marxist Formula in Emecheta's The Joys of Motherhood "Marx states that we are truly free only when '[people] place themselves in a position to control their own historical destiny'"(Slaughter 25). Britain's imperial colonization of Africa triggered vast change within the tribal civilizations thriving on the continent prior to European occupation. For the Africans, these changes altered every level of their culture: language, religion, as well as ancient tribal customs. But one of the most devastating aspects of the British colonization in Africa was the European economic system: capitalism....   [tags: Emecheta Joys of Motherhood Essays]

Powerful Essays
4882 words (13.9 pages)

Essay on My Favorite Summer Vacation

- My favorite summer vacation was when my Father took me to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. What made it even more memorable was the fact that it was my very first time on an airplane. I cannot recall another time in my life when I experienced so much joy. That trip to Universal Studios was the first time my Father and I actually did something together, just the two of us and was something brought me close to my Father. In this essay I will tell you about my plane ride over there, what I did right when I got there, and about my time at Universal Studios....   [tags: Summer Vacation Essays]

Free Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

My Summer Vacation Essay

-      When I was ten years old my Father took me to Universal Studios in Orlando Florida during summer vacation. It is one of the most memorable experiences of my life.      It was my first time on an airplane, so I was a little nervous. It felt like forever while we sat in the plane waiting to take off. Finally, I heard the pilot say “prepare for take off.” I’ll admit I was a little scared, but as the plane lifted off the runway, I was ok.      The plane ride there was three hours long. It was a little bumpy, but other then that, everything went well....   [tags: Summer Vacation Essays]

Powerful Essays
656 words (1.9 pages)

Motherhood Essay

- Motherhood Many different aspects of life characterize motherhood. Traditions along with society influence the role of motherhood. Carol Stacks' "All our Kin," is an essay about the "structuring of kin groups" (1974, p.47). In the society, if the mother is not mature enough to raise the child, a close female relative takes on the role of the mother; whereas, the man has the option of choosing to claim the child and take on the responsibilities of fatherhood or he can imply that the father could be anyone, which is a socially acceptable reason....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)