Analysis: Family Resemblances Jennifer Nathansons essay is likely to elicit a smile from readers who have gone through a similar metamorphosis. Her changing feelings and attitudes towards her mother are not so different from those experienced by many other people. Indeed our perceptions tend to change a bit as we age. What once upset us now delights us. As an adolescent Nathanson was uncomfortable being likened to her mother, but over time she began to embrace this likeness.
She now sees her mother as a wonderful supportive woman; quite different from the pre-teen feelings she once harbored for her mother. In her essay Nathanson leads the reader through her transformation from embarrassed adolescent to proud adult. She does this by providing examples of her changing attitude at different stages in her life. Throughout the text, readers will relate to Nathansons changing attitude while reflecting upon similar changes in their own lives. By the end of the essay Nathanson has guided the reader through her transformation into adulthood. Her family resemblances become apparent and accepted.
Nathanson begins the essay with the statement Im becoming my mother (219), and then proceeds to inform the reader about the attitude she had in the past regarding her mother. In the following two paragraphs she gives examples of this attitude and of the embarrassment she felt as a child. In paragraph 4 we get a glimpse of Nathansons caring mother, and of the pre-teen searching for independence. In paragraphs 5 and 6 she finds that independence when she goes to college in Ohio. It is during this period at college that her attitude begins to shift, and the change from adolescent to adult starts to take place. In paragraph 7 she reflects upon the girl she once was, the adult she has become, and the realization she is becoming more like her mother.
Paragraphs 8-12 give examples of similarities in appearance and attitude that verify the likeness between Nathanson and her mother. Her newfound attitude is also revealed in paragraph 9 when she says, Pride welled up inside of me (220). Paragraphs 12 and 13 complete the transformation Nathanson introduced at the start of the essay. The similarities between mother and daughter are undeniable and well accepted by this point in the essay. Nathanson suggests that ideas, which once were embarrassing, are now positive reminders of the change from adolescent to adult.