Thursday, October 7, 2010
The Role of Indifference - Emily's Mother
Emily gazed at her mother, Claire, from behind the tapestry curtains, thinking of how she would tell her mother that she wanted to stay with grandma. She fixed her eyes on her mother, as each time that she was away from her it was like seeing her for the first time. Looking at her mother, she was mesmerized by her beauty. She looked more like a movie star than a mother. Emily watched her mother talk to her grandma, and the way she listened attentively and nodded with agreement. Her mother had a way of listening and only talking when she had something to say which seemed to draw people to her. Her outer beauty was unmistakable. She had big blue eyes, smooth and flawless skin set off by dark chestnut brown hair. Her features were well defined and contoured, and her lips were full and red. She often felt lost in her mother’s beauty, choosing to sit out of reach so she could study her closely and try to emulate her. If only she could be like her mother, Emily thought, she would be loved and not live in the shame of her own ugliness.
Young Emily cannot grasp that her mother is emotionally detached. She sees her mother as regal, and her intense physical beauty charms Emily but makes her feel unapproachable. The physical and mental abuse inflicted by her father has already made her feel inferior and ugly. Her mothers’ cold nature serves only to reinforce this reflection of her. The absence of affection from her mother coupled with the worship of her mother’s outward beauty will play a key role in young Emily’s development.