What is the meaning of the story "Islands on the Moon" by Kingsolver?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kingsolver's story "Islands on the Moon" is a story about reconciliation and personal strength, the strength of not trembling in insecurity or resentment while seeing yourself rightly and seeing others rightly. Annmarie and her mother Magda discover they are both pregnant at the same time. The news has broken a long silence between them because Magda calls on Annmarie to help her get to a pregnancy clinic.

Annmarie has been laboring under the impression that her mother is determined on manipulating and sabotaging her life out of some ill-will. Annmarie even thinks that Magda's pregnancy is an effort to belittle her. Every pleasantry or gift that Magda tries to offer is perceived by Annmarie as some sort of assault against her person.

A revelation at the clinic about her Magda's independent life-force and a car accident afterward changes their situation enough so that the conversation Annmarie thought could never happen occurs, and they come to understand their true feelings about each other. Magda then gives the meaning to the title "Islands on the Moon" by saying that they are each like islands on the moon and each can walk to the other if they only choose to: the meaning is reconciliation.

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Islands on the Moon

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