Examine personal reactions to the story.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one distinct personal reaction experienced in the story is the challenge in motherhood.  Ivy reflects how challenging the condition of motherhood actually is.  It is one in which girls become women, and struggle to reach into their past in helping to nurture a new life.  For Ivy, this is especially poignant because as she is struggling to make sense of herself, she strives to understand her own mother's condition.  Motherhood forces the individual to view their own being through the prism of their past, specifically their own mothers. 

This dynamic is something that I found interesting.  Motherhood create the ability to exist in the present and the future as one that is viewed in light of the past.  Something that is almost taken for granted by social orders, motherhood proves to be a transformative notion of existence for which there is no "owner's manual."  The mother must operate entirely on her own understanding and this becomes the reason why there is a psychological delving into the past while existing in the present and for the future.  Ivy embraces this reality as a part of her being.  Her "hope and need of finding her sister and mother are neither suppressed nor abandoned" in "the balancing act of raising a healthy child."  This is a condition that resonated with me on a personal level.

Read the study guide:
A Mother's Love

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question
Additional Links