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Neither Mrs. Dietrich nor Nola is unusual. What is important is the abundant detail about both of them, which indicates a changing relationship. Friction is inevitable since, generally, mothers wish to keep control and daughters wish to become free. This analysis fits here for mother and daughter. The occasion of the semester abroad is important not so much for itself as for the disputes it causes. Any other plan that Nola might describe would also introduce the same conflict. Paragraph 73 marks a feeling of resentment in Mrs. Dietrich—a new feeling resulting from her conclusion that Nola’s attempted shoplifting was done in order to inflict hurt. Mrs. Dietrich’s anger does not diminish her parental love, but it certainly does complicate it.
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