A Daughters Ability to Construct Her Own Identity Is Shaped by Maternal Absence or Presence

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In Moore’s “Which is More That I Can Say”, the role-reversal of the search of identity reinforces the image of the dynamic of fear that both mother and daughter have. Mrs. Mallon’s presence in the short story is described as something repelling and invasive towards her daughter’s decisions in life. Abby, having shaped her identity privately tries to alienate herself from her mother’s stronger character in order to have proper control of her life. Mrs. Mallon showing a risk taking behavior, sees her daughter as “a women who expects too much” due to her performance of actions in life. At the end due to the inability of Abby to succeed in her liberty, she witnesses lack of strength and the fear her mother has at the Blarney Stone. In Morrison’s Sula, the mother’s emotional and nurturing detachment from the daughters through generations helps all of them create a female-self identity. This lack of nurture may be a direct result of the maternal figure's focus on survival, as Eva can't take time to show love for her children but is able to sacrifice a leg to ensure physical endurance. In her mind these acts confess her love for them while in Hanna's head, the emotional connection that she needs from her mother is not present. As Hannah becomes a mother herself and a mother being the first model of love that the children experiences, she emotionally detaches herself from Sula as she was detached from her mother. Sula is able to shape her ego and separate herself from her family after she overhears her mother’s conversation: "You love her, like I love Sula. I just don't like her". Hannah not representing an admirable empathetic mother figure makes Sula assert control over her identity through the inability of connecting with other people as an adult. She is able to find her autonomy and independence denying responsibilities and attachment to anything. In
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