Essay on "Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates

937 Words May 4th, 2008 4 Pages
Montiel 1

Love of a Mother
The relationship between a mother and daughter may be very difficult. Today modern women live different lives then a long time ago. A lot of women are single parents and hold a career, therefore making the job of a mother very difficult. There are many complications and heartaches, but then there is always the plus size of love and rewards. This is no exception between Nola and her mother Mrs. Dietrich, characters in “Shopping by Joyce Carol Oates. Nola is obviously trying to spread her wings and fly into a young woman, however; Mrs. Dietrich is having a really hard time letting her go. In Oates short story one is exposed to the hardship that a mother has in watching her daughter transition from a girl
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Her desire to make Nola happy shows that she is trying, but inside thoughts show that she does not like the way Nola dresses, or the clothes she picks out, or the restaurant they eat at. Her emotional attachment and need for her daughter overpowers her knowledge that it is time for Nola to grow up. She would prefer for Nola to remain young. Despite her mother's desire, Nola is growing up and becoming her own person.
Nola has embraced the beginning of adulthood and handles it very well. She tries to be an individual by picking out clothes that are more grown up and funky. She makes an astute and mature recognition be expressing the fact that she is not worried about the "disheveled woman ['s]" affect on the people but the effect the people will have on the women (Oates 193). She also defiantly smokes a cigarette in front of her mother. “She smokes her cigarette calmly, expelling smoke from her nostrils in a way Mrs. Dietrich thinks particularly coarse” (Oates 191). The rebellion is trying to show that she is old enough to not have to follow her mother's rules or that she even cares what her mother thinks. However, she has not reached full maturation because she is unable to recognize that her mother

Montiel 3 only wants to be a part of her life. Her mother has needs too. Her mother only wants to be loved, but Nola is constantly pushing her mother away.
Both Nola and Mrs. Dietrich can overcome these complications if they would

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