Shashi Deshpande”S Attitude Towards Motherhood Essay

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All patriarchal societies consider woman as mother and nurturer and such an image of the woman is deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Many people think that the most important role of a woman in life is to become a mother and thereby fulfilling her destiny. Shashi Deshpande questions this very concept of motherhood. She does not consider motherhood as a sacred one. To her, motherhood is one among the many roles a woman has to perform. When she was a child, she had learnt that a mother is like God. To hurt her is to commit a sin. She learnt that a mother is constantly sacrificing herself for her children. She learnt that a mother is one’s refuge. She learnt that childbirth is a painful but joyous process. Love springs naturally and spontaneously when one becomes a mother and mobility and goodness descend upon her naturally. She also learnt that a mother can never be unjust or unfair. But, even as a child, she realized that mothers hold out their love like a carrot-a prize for good behaviour. This love is not unconditional and can, sometimes be taken away. Mothers can be partial and even play off one child against another. As she grew older, she came to realize a few more things - that mothers can thwart their children’s ambitions. A mother’s sacrifice can become a rope to tether her children to herself. It can be used as weapon in the never-ending mother-child warfare. When Deshpande became a mother, she knew that childbirth is not only a hideously painful process, but a cruel and ugly one as well. She realized that she didn’t suddenly change and become an entirely different person when she became a mother. She was the same person she had been earlier and she found out that motherhood is a state of vulnerability. Her actual experience of motherhood was very different from the ideal she had been taught to imagine. And her own performance as a mother filled her

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