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M otherhood

M otherhood

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M otherhood

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  1. Motherhood In “The Angry Woman” A poem by Anna Wickham By Charity Liu

  2. Anna Wickham(1884 -1947) • Anna Wickham was the pseudonym of Edith Alice Mary Harper. • In 1906 she married Patrick Hepburn who was interested in Romanesque architecture and astronomy. • The marriage was a turbulent one. • Patrick thought women should be homemakers and resented his wife’s commitment to her poetry. Anna Wickham (1/2)

  3. Anna Wickham(1884 -1947) • She longed for children. • She had a miscarriage and a daughter who died within moments of birth. • Then, she gave birth to four sons. In 1921 her third son died of scarlet fever. • In 1947, she hanged herself. Anna Wickham (2/2)

  4. Identity • Woman  Bodily / Physically defined  “I am a woman, with a woman’s parts”  “I am a woman in my speech and gait” “I have no beard”  Blameless for naturally born woman  “I have no beard (I’ll take no blame for that)” Identity (1/3)

  5. Identity • Mother  Source of motherhood  marriage  “because of marriage, I have motherhood”  based on love; rather for men  “And of love I bear children”  “Do not ask my weakness as a sacrifice to power” Identity (2/3)

  6. Identity  Pregnancy—bearing children  honor  miracle  physically weak and suffered  “In the days of bearing is my body weak”  “body’s pain”  togetherness and intimacy  “In many things are you [son] and I apart” “But there are regions where we coincide” “Where law for one is law for both” Identity (3/3)

  7. Causes of Anger— Confinement • Sex[female or male]  “Woman”  totally sexualized, trapped in sex “woman”  “In many things are you [“woman”] and I apart” “Where law for one is law for both”  “There is sexless part of me that is my mind” Confinement (1/8)

  8. Causes of Anger— Confinement  Marriage  bond 1. being mastered  “But why because I do you [husband] service, should you call me slave?”  “Where law for one is law for both” 2. wearing a mask  “If I must own your manhood synonym for every strength.” “Then must I lie” Confinement (2/8)

  9. Causes of Anger— Confinement  manhood 1. Man with power of manhood controls all.  “In marriage there are many mansions” “Shall you rule all the houses of your choice” “Because of manhood or because of strength?” (mansions may be bodies/persons of the family or every aspect in marriage ) Confinement (3/8)

  10. Causes of Anger— Confinement 2. Sex [male], not strength [ability], decides who has the power.  “If sex is a criterion for power, and never strength,” “What do we gain by union?  union 1. Nothing is owned  “I lose all, while nothing worthy is so gained by you” Confinement (4/8)

  11. Causes of Anger— Confinement • Body  Woman’s body as weakness and definition Body’s love brings body’s pain Bodily relationship – taking care of children  “Shall I for ever brush my infant’s hair?” “Cumber his body in conceited needle-work?” Confinement (5/8)

  12. Causes of Anger— Confinement • Traditional Framework Marriage / Motherhood  mentally humiliated  “But why because I do you service, should you call me slave?”  “And how can I serve my son, but to be much self”  center or wholeness of her life  “That [motherhood] is much, and yet not all” Confinement (6/8)

  13. Causes of Anger— Confinement  abstract / superficial mothering 1. Abstract name “I am not mother to abstract Childhood, but to my son” “A fantastic creature like a thing of dreams” 2. Duties—housework 3. Leads to disattachement with her son  “Or shall I save some pains till he is grown?”  “Why should dull custom make my son my enemy” Confinement (7/8)

  14. Causes of Anger— Confinement  Privilege of manhood  leaving her “So that the privilege of his manhood is to leave my house”  “Or shall I save some pains till he is grown?”  Lack of education  “You [husband] would hold knowledge from me because I am a mother”  “Power should be added to power(v.)”  “That [mother/hood] has so great an eye it has no head” Confinement (8/8)

  15. Claims for Her Motherhood Mind > Body Thought  sexless, free  mentally strong Heart, love (spiritual love, good affection)  woman need it  “Kiss me sometimes in the light”  “Let me have flowers sometimes”  value for her son  “He will find more joy … in laughter” Claims (1/5)

  16. Claims for Her Motherhood • Trueness > Disguise  Be true self  “Let me speak my mind in life and love”  she does not want to “lie,” to do things “falsely,” be a “mime” and be “of pretence”  “Are you content to be from henceforth only father, and in no other way a man?”  Frank love  “And sometimes let me take your hand and kiss you honestly” Claims (2/5)

  17. Claims for Her Motherhood • Spiritual Attachment > Physical Care  Spiritual love  “And love, which has no more matter in it than is in the mind”  Good affection Intelligent enrichment  “If he is my true son,” “He will find more joy in number and in laughter” Claims (3/5)

  18. Claims for Her Motherhood • Strength / Ability > Sex [female]  Be Wise  She is as good as men or even better  “You calculate the distance of a star” “I, thanks to this free age can count as well” “And by the very processes you use” “When we think differently of two times two,” “I’ll own a universal mastery in you!” Claims (4/5)

  19. Claims for Her Motherhood  Necessary for being a mother  “Rather for this reason [I am a mother] let me be wise, and very strong”  “Show him the consolation of mathematics”  Be Strong  mentally strong  To have power  “Power should be added to power” Claims (5/5)

  20. Conclusions As a woman, wife and mother: • She redefines her motherhood opposing that of traditional stereotype given by the society. • She asks for fairness and equality with men, and shows the confidence of her capability. • She asks for being self and to have her voices. • She values what’s under the surface, such as mind, love, self, knowledge and affection. • In her motherhood, she not only can give her son the traditional mothering but also what men can give. Conclusions (1/1)

  21. Text from: Ingman, Heather, ed. Mothers and Daughters in the Twentieth Century: A Literary Anthology. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. Source (1/1)