Jill Bergman illuminates the trope of motherlessness
in African-American literature using Pauline Hopkins's novels as an exemplary case.
The springboard for both the main plot and subplot of King Lear, in fact, is adulterous motherlessness
, both suspected and admitted.
The breakdown of marriage produces widespread fatherlessness, not motherlessness
Some specific themes explored are motherlessness
and emotional exile in Jamaica Kincaid's The Autobiography of My Mother, Jessie Fauset's Comedy: American Style, and re-membering blackness in the neo-slave writings of Octavia Butler and Zora Neale Hurston.
Belonging--coupled with the piercing anguish of nonbelonging--became a characteristic theme of her life and work, along with grief about motherlessness
and the fervent embrace of motherhood.
Diana Postlethwaite also identifies Anne's motherlessness
as the central problem, and asserts that "Anne Elliot can affirm that she 'is her mother's self' without 'becoming what her mother had been'" ("Sometimes" 45).
, a central trope for white nineteenth-century American readers, "may have resonated still more powerfully for African Americans, who had extensive experience with motherlessness
may play a role in Peterkin's creation of the birth/rebirth cycle.
She demonstrates how the heroines of the tales narrated by women, whose motherlessness
provides the conditions for the quest for an emotional bond, become victims of their own desire at the hands of men, and ultimately return to the 'house of the mother' (the convent, or the company of women).
In fairytales, motherlessness
indicates an absence of quality attention and the necessity (given the staggering amount of handiwork done at home) for men to remarry.
and dispossession, in the first and second groups of stories, are both literal phenomena as well as governing metaphors for loss and absence.
It has a further sexist implication in the sense that apart from maternal mental infirmity or death, the common conditions for the motherlessness
of the literal motherless babies in Nigeria as mentioned above appear to be associated with female sexual impropriety, female unkindness and criminality, and/or weakness and lack of perseverance.