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Sample essay topic, essay writing: A Jest Of God - 978 words
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A Jest of God We were strangers from the beginning tormented by our difference which did not exist. (Betsy Warland)An important ingredient inherent in a successful mother-daughterrelationship is balance. Like the scales of justice, maintaining equilibriumrequires work. The special bond between mother and daughter is delicate andunlike any other relationship due to expectations of performance on behalf ofboth women. The female psyche is, characteristically, particular: each womanhaving a certain regiment making themselves unique. Ideals and behavior learned,possibly inherited, from others are two of many things which carve anindividual's personality.
It is these similarities and differences which oftencause conflicts between mother and daughter. In A Jest of God, the relationshipbetween Rachel and her mother is strained due to unspoken expectations that eachhad of the other. Stemming from poor communication, a host of differences wereassumed to exist between the two, when in fact their struggle originated intheir sameness.The largest weapon which spear-headed the communication war between Racheland her mother was the generation gap; coming from different eras, the pairassumed they had nothing in common. In Rachel's eyes her mother was a pristine,saintly woman who maintained high moral values for herself and her family.Therefore, being a good person and making the right decisions was neverquestionable to Rachel, as this was how her mother expected her to behave.Rachel listened numerous times to her mother comment on how 'peculiar' herbehavior looked, and spoke of anyone else she observed doing the same. Althoughthis annoyed Rachel about her mother, she adopted similar paranoia tendencies,speculating how her behavior with Nick, a summer beau, looked to anyone whocould be watching or noticing. Irritated by her mother's attitude, Rachelexcused it on the pretense that her views reflected the past times in which shelived
However, Rachel had neither the patience nor the desire to speak outagainst her mother for fear of stirring trouble between them. The irony inRachel's decision is that their relationship needed just what she was sodesperately trying to avoid. By turning her back on the communication problem between herself and hermother, Rachel wanted to believe that the problem was inherent in themisunderstanding each had of the other. Underneath her shell, Rachel was comingto terms with what was really true of the gap between herself and her mother:their difference lay in her want to not be similar. Both were single: Rachelunmarried and her mother a widow. Through her fling with Nick, Rachel wanted toexpress her desires to be independent from her mother, and have an adultrelationship with another human being.
Another similarity between the two womenwas in their propensity to be stubborn and secretive, having opinions they didnot speak of but eluded to. This stubbornness was evident in terms ofreligious exploration as both were curious about faith. Rachel was moreaggressive in her curiosity as evidenced in her visit the Tabernacle, howeverkept it a secret knowing her mother speculated about what good people saw insuch activity. Yet another similarity both mother and daughter share was intheir satisfaction at living in a small town. Following the death of her father,neither Rachel nor her mother were anxious to change their living pattern.Rachel was not blind to the similarities she had with her mother, but attemptedto change herself in order to be different.Like a teenager's last rebellious actions before entering adulthood,Rachel's actions during her last months in Manawaka symbolized the final fightto be different from her mother. Struggling to maintain a casual relationshipwith a man her mother would disapprove of, Rachel was forced to sneak aroundbehind her mother's back. Rachel's mother seemingly had no trouble speaking hermind.
Rachel tried to maintain her image as a proper, rule-abiding schoolteacher, and refused to speak to her principal about a troubling issue for fearhe would lose respect for her. When attending the Tabernacle, Rachel spoke intongues and left not knowing what she revealed of herself, only that her motherwould surely disapprove of what she had done. Making a public spectacle ofherself was a fear Rachel shared with her mother, however the experience wasliberating for her because she knew the news would disturb her mother. Theseoutward actions by Rachel were demonstrative of her want to finish her spiritualgrowth, which was stunted by an overbearing mother, and her own fear of beingthe same way. Rachel remained a child well into her adult life.
This was evident inthe way she spoke to herself, analyzing, and scrutinizing her own actions. Thenarrative tone was that of a motherly voice, likely evidence of the fear forwhat her mother would say, and reflective of who she was growing into.Rebelling against such growth is a natural progression for women because astrong sense of rivalry exists between mothers and daughters. The latter, eagerto carve their own path, become distressed when they realize they are unable tochoose something new for themselves because it has already been branded intothem from their mothers. Such behavior is ritualistic and shows friendlycompetition between the wise and the wiser, as the former strive to provethemselves independent. It is an attempt by daughters to prove their ingenuity,and gain acceptance and approval from their mothers.
Rachel realized this wasoccurring simultaneously with the reconciliation of her inner self, took chargeof her independence and moved herself and her mother to the West Coast, at theend of the book.Gaining independence was a great triumph in Rachel's life, and coincidedwith the first building block in an attempt to bridge the communication gapbetween herself and her mother. Taking charge of her life was something Rachelnever felt compelled to do prior to the growing experience of her inner-self.As important as branching out on her own was, she was never before able to dothis because she allowed herself to live under her mother's protective wing.Although seeming to despise her mother for the qualities she unadmittinglypossessed herself, Rachel was merely running from the truth, and failing tocommunicate only helped to reinforce this.
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