"A Visit to Grandmother"

Essay by narcianwarriorHigh School, 10th gradeA+, March 2006

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"A Visit to Grandmother" is a story that takes a black man named Charles all the way back to his childhood where he encounters a question that he has been asking himself his whole life: does his mother love him less than his irresponsible brother? All through the story his mother shows that she loves him just as much as his brother, GL, but treats them differently.

From the beginning to the end of this story the reader could feel that this mother had a big heart for everyone. The one son, Charles, always had a stone-cold heart towards the way his mother treated him differently than his brother. As a result, when he went to see his mother he went with ears that did not want to hear what she had on her heart.

Charles saw early in his childhood that his mother would have him on a tighter leash than his older brother, GL.

When Charles was five and GL was ten, Charles was more mature than GL. Their mother could see this. She thought that GL was not mature enough to know right from wrong. His mother felt that if she didn't let GL do things without getting punishments as severe as Charles, he would rebel and start robbing and killing people.

Charles saw that because he was extremely black in color and GL had lighter skin and finer hair, that his mother paid more attention to GL. When GL did something wrong his mother let it slide. Charles thought his mother believed GL could more likely get a better job because of his lighter skin color. His mother told a story where she and GL rode into town on a horse-drawn carriage and the horse went out of control. When GL did not know what to do his mother somehow grabbed the reigns and slowed the horse down. When the mother says that she had to save her "baby", as the author points out, Charles became infuriated. She had said "yes" to a ride into town with GL, but if Charles would have asked her the same question she would have said "no".

The whole story shows the reader that GL is a very irresponsible person in general. The way their mother treats GL is necessary because of his immaturity. If their mother did not treat GL differently than Charles, GL surely would have been severely injured or possibly killed himself. Although Charles had the maturity to take-on more responsibility, he still felt that his mother loved GL more than him.

It is obvious that the mother loved both of her sons equally. Charles thought she did not because of his brother's skin color. But what he did not understand was that his mother's attitude toward GL was necessary.