Psychic Severance of Maternal Cord And Devising Purposive Languages of Self-Care

Psychic Severance of Maternal Cord And Devising Purposive Languages of Self-Care

Ms Swati JoshiZoom

Samuel Beckett’s Footfalls (1976) and Marsha Norman’s ‘night Mother (1983) challenge the popular idea predominant in the socio-cultural imagination of a mother possessing the intuitive understanding about her child that helps her not only to know the child better but also what’s better for the child. The nuanced complexity of the bi-directional care relationship between the respective mothers and daughters in these plays, is deconstructed and disrupted by the purposive languages of self-care adopted by the daughters. Beckett’s Footfalls demonstrates May’s employment of the languages of self-care, in the act of walking and the reconstruction of the dialogue between her and her mother through usage of Anagram, to demonstrate her mother’s failure to grasp of the gravity of May’s suffering. Whereas, in Norman’s ‘night Mother, the daughter (Jessie) chooses to lock herself up in the room after announcing her intention of committing suicide to her mother. The trajectory of the revolt of the daughters against their mothers, places these plays in the sub-genre of the theatre of psyche, wherein the child cuts off the psychic placenta with the mother owing to their lack of empathy and acknowledgement of their child’s suffering. This paper explores how the invisibility of their suffering, coerces the daughters to invent their own languages of self-care.

Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, India
Fri 09:30 - 11:00
Maternity and Childbirth, Mental Health
Standard paper