An Evolving Relationship in The Circling Hand Essay

An Evolving Relationship in The Circling Hand Essay

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An Evolving Relationship in The Circling Hand

 

An evolving mother-daughter relationship is the focus of Jamaica Kincaid s autobiographical  The Circling Hand.   Like the narrator, Kincaid grew up in Antigua as the only child her mother and carpenter father.  Also like the narrator, Kincaid admits her mother kept everything she ever wore.   This narrative is a coming of age story, in which this dynamic and unusual mother-daughter relationship plays an important role.  Through the beginning bliss of childhood to the frustrating stage of adolescence, this unique relationship, in which the daughter is infatuated with her mother, seems to control the narrator s development as a free­thinking person.

 

    It is easily inferred that the narrator sees her mother as extremely beautiful.  She even sits and thinks about it in class.  She describes her mother s head  as if it should be on a sixpence,  (Kincaid 807).  She stares at her mother s long neck and hair and glorifies virtually every feature.  The narrator even makes reference to the fact that many women had loved her father, but he chose her regal mother.  This heightens her mother s stature in the narrator s eyes.   Through her thorough description of her mother s beauty, the narrator conveys her obsession with every detail of her mother.   Although the narrator s adoration for her mother s physical appearance is vast, the longing to be like her and be with her is even greater.

 

    The narrator spends her young childhood drunk with love for her mother.  She happily sleeps late on school holidays, follows her mother ar...


... middle of paper ...


...tionship has completely evolved and the narrator somewhat comes into her own ­ a natural and inevitable process.

 

    As a result of the freshly severed apron strings, while at her new school, the narrator starts to  love  a new friend named Gwen.  When she shares her day with her mother and does not mention her new - found love, this is her young mind s way of saying  You have your life and I have mine and I don t have to tell you about it.   While the mother ­ daughter relationship still exist, the narrator forms another relationship, making her less dependant on the first.  The evolution of adolescence is the theme of the story, but the transformation of the mother daughter relationship proves to be the most drastic change the narrator goes through at an age revolved  around change.

 

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