A parent's love can be described as a double edge sword, having the power both to destroy and defend a child. How is this true in the case of Waverly's mother?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Waverly’s mother, Mrs. Jong, is an interesting figure. On the one hand, she supports Waverly in amazing ways. On the other hand, she also exasperates her. In this way, we can say that a mother’s loves (or parent’s love) can both defend and destroy.

When Waverly becomes better at chess, Waverly’s mother supports her in amazing ways. For example, Waverly no longer has to do the dishes. Her brothers absorb these chores. Later when Waverly complains that her room is too noisy to concentrate, Mrs. Jong moves her brothers into the living room. All of this shows Mrs. Jong’s support.

Mrs. Jong also, perhaps without knowing it, exasperates her daughter.   She looks over her shoulder while Waverly is practicing.  She gives advice to Waverly without knowing much about the game.  And most of all, she insists that Waverly come with her to the market place, just to show off.  Waverly even remarks that Mrs. Jong buys little and talks much.  Mrs. Jong loves saying: “This is my daughter, Waverly.” This makes Waverly resentful. Waverly expresses her frustration and when her mother gives her “sharp silence,” she runs away.

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