A mother's love is unconditional and everlasting. In Robert Harling's play Steel Magnolias, Harling shows how the mother daughter relationship that M'lynn and Shelby share is the strongest relationship in the play. Harling also proves how that even though a person may die, the feelings others have of that person do not die with them, in fact, in some cases they may actually grow.
To love unconditionally one must be there for another person no matter what the situation is, or how painful it might be. M'lynn showed how she loved her daughter unconditionally in two ways; first, M'lynn risked her own life to help save Shelby's, and second she stayed by Shelby's side when no one else would. M'lynn risked her own life when she decided that she would give up her kidney for Shelby, “But I'm lucky. I don't have to wait anymore. Mama's going to give me one of her kidneys” (58). M'lynn showed how much she loved her daughter and wanted to save her even if it meant dangerous surgery.“[Shelby] They basically have to saw her in half to get the kidney. It's major, major surgery for her” (59). There is no greater way to show your love for another person than to risk your own life for their well being. What is arguably one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the entire play is also the one that proves M'lynn's love for Shelby is stronger than all others, as she stays by Shelby's side till the very end. “[M'lynn] I stayed there. I kept on pushing...But finally we all realized there was no hope. At this point I panicked...they turned off the machines. Drum couldn't take it. He left. Jackson couldn't take it. He left. It struck me as amusing...But I could not leave” (67). This quote proves that the love that Shelby and M'lynn have, ...
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...t's better” (71). The radio symbolizes how even though the Shelby has passed, that she will always be with them, in spirit. M'lynn, “whacking” that radio so it will play is a way for her to keep the spirit and memory of Shelby alive within the shop through the sound waves that emanate from the radio. Once someone is gone, it does not mean that the love people had for that person goes with them, it lives on in many different ways.
M'lynn is a mother who had a deep love for her daughter. She risked her life and stood by her daughter no matter what the situation was. Just because a person dies, it does not mean that the love people had for the deceased die also. One could just turn to Steel Magnolias to see how love can live on, even if the person is not with us on Earth. M'lynn is the mother every child deserves, and the mother ever women should try to strive to be.
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