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The night mother - Essay Example

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Haneen Alghamdi (Course) “Night Mother” by Marsha Norman In the play “Night Mother” by Marsha Norman, we come across the two main characters, Thelma Cates; the mother and Jessie Cates; her daughter. This one and a half hour play takes place in the kitchen of their rural home…
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The night mother
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"The night mother"

Download file to see previous pages It is mentioned she is a lonely girl who doesn’t find much interest in talking to other people, but struggles to put herself together. Unlike her daughter, Thelma Cates is described as chatty and nosy yet as we read the play we realize that she is just as lonely as her daughter. She is in her late fifties and is quiet aware of her age. She tries to take this in positively, but cannot ignore the obvious that she is getting older and her time will soon come too. The play takes places in Thelma’s house and from there on Jessie has made the decision to take control of her life, thoughts and feelings. By the very first look of “Night Mother” we are able to determine that the play revolves around gloom and loneliness, from Jessie and Thelma, and grows around the issues they have had throughout life with a failed marriage, her epilepsy, and her delinquent son, Ricky. The main issue revolving the story sets around the fact that Jessie has decided to commit suicide, and straightforwardly tells her mother of her plans. “Jessie is full of vengeance and decides to commit suicide; oblivious to the fact that it might hurt her mother” (Brustein 160.) Before she does so, she must complete the list of things she has set herself to make before she kills herself, or as she told the people around town, “taking a vacation” (Norman 15). ...
The author makes a remark by indicating that the appearance of the house shouldn’t be associated with the personality of Jessie, given that her mother is the one who is most outgoing. Norman adds on to the dialogue invisible characters that come up, meanwhile the two of them are having a deep conversation about how and why Jessie has taken the decision she has. While talking, they bring up characters like Dawson, Jessie’s brother, Loretta; Dawson’s wife, Ricky; Jessie’s son, and Cecil; Jessie’s ex husband. In addition to these characters, Jessie’s dad plays a very important role. From the conversation she and her mother are having, her mother admits to never loving him, but unlike Thelma, Jessie loved her father very much. I believe the importance of Jessie’s father plays after his death, since she did not have a father figure and her mother did not seem to worry about other than herself. It is also mentioned in the play that Cecil, was a handy man that made the porch and Thelma ended up marrying him to her daughter. Such actions have made the character of Jessie to submerge herself in the memory of her father, because “she never saw an environment in which love and harmony were abundant” (Burkman 36). In my opinion, Jessie’s suicidal thoughts come from the lack of affection she has received throughout her life. Cecil, her ex-husband has also taken most of her happiness since she became epileptic and fell off a horse and he divorced her. Her ideal marriage never really came together, and to only see her son grow to be somewhat of an antisocial or a delinquent. Although her mother wants to convince her that this is just a phase Ricky is going through, she ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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