In what ways is Missy's mother a "good" mother for Missy? What qualities does Missy's mother try to instill in Missy?
Missy's mother instills a degree of self worth and self love in Missy which serves as the basis for all of her endeavors. The fact that she decides to leave her home and strike out on her own, and embrace a set of values that causes her to leave her mother's embrace is only because her mother allowed her the courage and strength with said embrace. Throughout her travels, Missy feels her mother's presence. There is ample evidence to suggest this. I think it is unique that Missy sets out on her journey embracing one set of values, but then, when confronted with her own chance at motherhood, to embrace another. This level of change in belief systems only happens because her mother empowered her with a sense of self that would be open to change and new experiences. The challenges she faces as a working mother mirrors her own mother's experience of cleaning houses and working. The story is interesting in so far as it does not use poverty or working class as a means of abandoning values that show toughness and strength of character. This is primarily due to the impact and effectiveness of Missy's mother and her attributes.