Discuss the presentation of Jeanette's mother in 'Oranges are not the only fruit'

Essay by geerobyA-, February 2004

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Discuss the presentation of Jeanette's mother in

'Oranges are not the only fruit'

Readers are introduced to Jeanette's mother as someone who 'liked to wrestle; it didn't matter what. She was in the white corner and that was that'. An idea oh the mother's personality being controlling, powerful and self-righteous is formed from this description. Also Jeanette's personal view of these qualities is shared as the tone of the narrator during the statement could be seen as sarcastic and demeaning towards her mother as though she does not agree with the idea that her mother is always innocent (represented by the white) and right. We are shown different sides to the mother's character as she interacts with different individuals.

During the first chapter her mother sees Jeanette as 'a way out now for years and years', suggesting that there is something in her mothers past, which she feels guilty for and she uses Jeanette to remove this guilt and feel better about herself.

By creating this role for Jeanette her mother is setting certain expectations of her daughter and it is these expectations that control her attitude towards her. An example of this would be involving religion and the church, something the mother has devoted herself to and believes Jeanette should also. A positive attitude towards Jeanette is shown when her mother gains status through her because she is doing well in the church. Her mother is especially please when she integrates religion into her schoolwork because; although she gets into trouble with the school her mother sees this as Jeanette starting her missionary work. This displays that her mother cares more about religious messages being spread than her daughter's education. Her mothers zealous attitude towards religion is seen as extreme by the readers as in correlation to it her...