“And the One Doesn’t Stir without the Other’’: Mother-Daughter Relationships in Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother and Hanan Al- Shaykh’s The Locust and the Bird: My Mother’s Story

Maha Abdel Moneim Emara


The mother-daughter relationship is the most crucial human rapport. Western and Arab theorists have dealt profusely with this close female bond that persists as a determining force of personality structure and social system. Adrienne Rich (1986) and Nancy Chodorow (1978b ) undertake an analysis of the institution of motherhood in the context of western patriarchal society. In the Arab world, major studies of this theme such as Suad Joseph and Dalya Abudi’s works deal with the mother-daughter bond as culturally specific. This study attempts a psychoanalytic and feminist analysis of this “great unwritten story” where the two disciplines engage and enrich each other. This will be explored in ‘the life writings’ of Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother, and Hanan Al- Shaykh’s The Locust and the Bird: My Mother’s Story in which the mother-daughter relationship is the core concern. Kincaid and Al- Shaykh’s works contextualize what Rich (1986) calls “the essential female tragedy” portraying “the loss of the daughter to the mother, the mother to the daughter” and how this is articulated through genre choice, language, and colonial/patriarchal oppression. The study will also investigate the auto biographical nature of both texts.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v4i9.1776


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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