NIGHT MOTHER MARSHA NORMAN PDF
MOTHER. BY MARSHA NORMAN. III Set for the New York production of ' NIGHT MOTHER. 'NIGHT, MOTHER opened on Broadway at the John Golden. BYMARSHANORMAN 'NIGHT, MOTHER opened on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre, on March 31, , 'NIGHT, MOTHER was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for. Drama. 3. 'NIGHT, MOTHER [email protected] , Marsha Norman. AND AUTONOMY THROUGH SUICIDE IN NORMAN'S 'NIGHT, MOTHER Maika we have Jessie Cates, the protagonist of 'night Mother by Marsha Norman. .. resourceone.info Gates, Barbara T. “Chapter 1: Suicidal Women: Fact or.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Arabic|
|Genre:||Health & Fitness|
|ePub File Size:||18.44 MB|
|PDF File Size:||20.28 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
PDF | Reading Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother in the light of Lacan's imaginary and symbolic orders, as well as Adrianne Rich's notions. 'Night Mother by Marsha Norman. I am what became of your child. I found an old baby picture of me. And it was somebody else, not me. Born in as the daughter of a fundamentalist Methodist, Marsha Norman had a solitary childhood in Louisville, Kentucky. Her mother's religious views.
Jessie sees no rays of love and hope to continue her life further. To divert Jessie's mind from suicide, Thelma tells Jessie that her married life was not happy. She had expected a sweet home, a good family, a caring and loving husband. But all her hope turns to the ash when her husband died. She then aspires same love and care from her son, Dawson, but again her son gets married and starts living with his wife, away from Thelma.
She feels too lonely and keeps her daughter Jessie with her. She tells Jessie that she loves her and she should not commit suicide. Jessie states that whether she lives for more fifty years, her life will be the same as now. So to stop living now and after fifty years does not have any difference for her. So, she is hell bent to her decision to commit suicide.
Their interaction makes clear that Thelma and Jessie love one another, but, to Jessie, her mother's love is not reason enough to continue living. Till now, they have not expressed love for each other. She latches on to the idea suggested by Jessie that she make hot chocolate and caramel apples. If Thelma could just get Jessie to feel the same sense of love from food that she does, maybe she could save her. In Food is Love, a book about food advertising and gender roles , by Katherine J.
Parkin , the concept that eating and preparing food could create love is attributed to savvy advertising companies.
Thelma seems to buy into this concept, turning to sweets for love and companionship. She finds so much comfort in sweets that she puts them above people. This inversion is intertwined with the fact that Thelma never loved her husband.
She seems to have been quite young when she married him, and there is no mention of any other lovers, so it is safe to assume Thelma has never been in love at all.
She cannot even rely on the memory of love to sustain her, so she must consume even more food to fill that void. Gayle Poole discusses Mrs. Lusty, a table may just be a table and no more, food is more than mere food. And Jessie smiles, or laughs quietly, and Mama tries a different approach.
People don't really kill themselves, Jessie. No, Mam, doesn't make sense, unless you're retarded or deranged and you're as normal as they come, Jessie, for the most part. We're all afraid to die. I'm cold all the time anyway. It's dark and quiet. Close your eyes.
Stuff cotton in your ears. Take a nap! It's quiet in your room. I'll leave the TV off all night. So nobody can get me. It might not be quiet at all. What if it's like an alarm clock and you can't wake up so you can't shut it off. Dead is dead quiet. You'll go to hell. I didn't know I thought that. She puts the now loaded gun back in the box and crosses to the kitchen.
But Mama is afraid she is headed for the bedroom. Mama, in panic. You can't use my towels! They're my towels. I've had them for a long time.
I like my towels. It's mine now too. And you can't do it in my house.
You can't do it. I won't let you. The house is in my name. They'll probably test your hands for gunpowder anyway, but you'll pass. I wouldn't have told you. Tell you to go ahead? Might try it myself. What took you so long? Want some coffee? Don't you want to know what we got you? JESSIEYou got me dusting powder, Loretta got me a new housecoat, pink probably and Dawson got me new slippers, too small, but they go with the robe, he'll say. Apparently Jessie is right.
Be back in a minute. Jessie takes the gun box, puts it on top of the stack of towels and garbage bags and takes them into her bedroom. Mama, alone for a moment, goes to the phone, picks up the receiver, looks toward the bedroom, starts to dial and then replaces the receiver in its cradle as Jessie walks back into the room.
Jessie wonders, silently. They have lived together for so long, there is very rarely any reason for one to ask what the other was about to do. I didn't call him. Thank you. What's this all about, Jessie? Jessie now begins the next task she had "on the schedule, "which is refilling all the candy jars, taking the empty papers out of the boxes of chocolates, etc. Mama generally snitches when Jessie does this.
Not tonight, though.
Nevertheless, Jessie offers. Want a caramel? You're mad at me. I am worried about you, but I'm going to do what I can before I go. We're not just going to sit around tonight. I made a list of things. Things like that. You put the clothes in. You put the soap in.
You trun it on. You wait. You don't just wait. The waiting's the worst part of it. The waiting's what you pay somebody else to do, if you can. Where do we keep the soap? She's not. Dawson can just leave her at home when he comes. And we won't ever see Dawson either if he bothers you. Does he bother you? Be sure you clean out the lint tray every time you use the dryer. But don't ever put your house shoes in, it'll melt the soles.
He's always wondering what I do all day. I mean, I wonder that myself, but it's my day, so it's mine to wonder about, not his. It's nothing personal, hon. They don't mean to get on your nerves. They don't even mean to be your family, they just are. JESSIEThey know things about you, and they learned it before you had a chance to say whether you wanted them to know it or not.
They were there when it happened and it don't belong to them, it belongs to you, only they got it. Like my mail order bra got delivered to their house. They saw the little rosebuds on it. Offering her another candy. Chewy mint? What do they know about you? I'll tell them never to talk about it again.
Is it Ricky or Cecil or your fits or your hair is falling out or you drink too much coffee or you never go out of the house or what? The account at the grocery is in Dawson's name when you call.
The number's on a whole list of numbers on the back cover of the phone book. Now we're getting somewhere. They're none of them ever setting foot in this house again. I wouldn't kill myself just to get away from them. Besides, it's you they come to see. The grocery won't deliver on Saturday any more. And if you want your order the same day, you have to call before And they won't deliver less than 15 dollars worth.
What I do is tell them what we need and tell them to add on cigarettes until it gets to 15 dollars. You're trying to get through to him.
That's it, isn't it? We're about even. Want him to start killing next? Nothing wrong with it. Mom did it. When the call comes, you let Dawson handle it. You could get one that he's got a job, that he's getting married, or how about he's joined the army, wouldn't that be nice? Be sure you talk to Susie, though. She won't let them put it in the bottom of a sack like that one time, remember? What if he calls us? Are you sick? If your gums are swelling again, we can get you to the dentist in the morning.
Can you order your medicine or do you want Dawson to? I've got a note to him. I'll add that to it if you want. I thought so yesterday. I'm not sick. A pause. If it would. I wouldn't have to.
That's what I like about it. Gone Fishing. If you'd kept your little house or found another place when Cecil left you, you'd have made some new friends at least.
Had a life to lead. Had your own things around you. Give Ricky a place to come see you. You never should've come here. You took me in. I appreciate that. You could be as close or as far away as you wanted. A grown woman should…. I'm tired. I'm hurt. I'm sad. I feel used. What were those other things. Hurt … Before Jessie can answer. You had this all ready to say to me, didn't you? Did you write this down?
How long have you been thinking about this? On all the time, since Christmas. On the nose. Mama knows exactly what Jessie means.
She was there, too, after all, Jessie, putting the candy sacks away. See where all this is? New packages of toffee and licorice right in back there.
You're hurt by what? Sad about what? There's nothing real sad going on right now. If it was after your divorce or something, that would make sense. Now, this drawer has everything in it that there's no better place for. Extension cords, batteries for the radio, extra lighters, sand paper, masking tape, Elmer's glue, thumbtacks, that kind of stuff.
The mousetraps are under the sink, but you call Dawson if you've got one and let him do it. What things? There's extra lightbulbs in a box in the hall closet. And we've got a couple of packages of fuses in the fuse box.
There's candles and matches in the top of the broom closet, but if the lights go out, just call Dawson and sit tight. But don't open the refrigerator door. Things will stay cool in there as long as you keep the door shut. I don't like how things are. And they're not any better out there than they are in here. Take it out then! Jessie laughs. I would too. You want to watch? I'll sing til morning to keep you alive, Jessie, please! It's a funny idea, though. What do you sing? We've got a good life here!
I called this morning and cancelled the papers, except for Sunday, for your puzzles, you'll still get that one. You liked a big dog, didn't you, that King dog, didn't you? I did like that King dog, yes. He's the one run under the tractor. Handi-wipes and sponges under the sink. Dogs are cheap!
You do too much for me. I can fill pill bottles all day, Jessie, and change the shelf-paper and wash the floor when I get through. You just watch me.
'night, Mother Study Center
You don't have to do another thing in this house if you don't want to. You don't have to take care of me, Jessie. You've just been letting me do it so I'll have something to do, haven't you? Riding the bus and it's hot and bumpy and crowded and too noisy and more than anything in the world you want to get off and the only reason in the world you don't get off is it's still 50 blocks from where you're going?
Well, I can get off right now if I want to, because even if I ride 50 more years and get off then, it's the same place when I step down to it. Whenever I feel like it, I can get off. As soon as I've had enough, it's my stop. I've had enough. Whoever promised you a good time?
Do you think I've had a good time? You have things you like to do. You could work some puzzles or put in a garden or go to the store.
You're not going to need toilet paper til Thanksgiving. You're acting like some little brat, Jessie. You're mad and everybody's boring and you don't have anything to do and you don't like me and you don't like going out and you don't like staying in and you never talk on the phone and you don't watch TV and you're miserable and it's your own sweet fault.
Something like … buying us all new dishes! I'd like that. If you want. I always thought if the TV was somewhere else, you wouldn't get such a glare on it during the day.
I'll do whatever you want before I go. You could get a job! JESSIEI took that telephone sales job and I didn't even make enough money to pay the phone bill, and I tried to work at the gift shop at the hospital and they said I made people real uncomfortable smiling at them the way I did. You kept your Dad's books. You know I couldn't work. I can't do anything. I've never been around people my whole life except when I went to the hospital.
I could have a seizure any time. What good would a job do? The kind of job I could get would make me feel worse. That's right.
It's what I think is true. But I can't do anything about that! You can't. Mama slumps, if not physically, at least emotionally. And I can't do anything either, about my life, to change it, make it better, make me feel better about it. Like it better, make it work. But I can stop it. Shut it down, turn it off like the radio when there's nothing on I want to listen to. It's all I really have that belongs to me and I'm going to say what happens to it.
And it's going to stop. And I'm going to stop it. Let's just have a good time. I mean, I could ask you things I always wanted to know and you could make me some hot chocolate. The old way. It takes cocoa, Jessie. I bought cocoa, Mama. And I'd like to have a caramel apple and do your nails.
I mean, Smiling a little. And you don't get cocoa like mine anywhere any more. It's no trouble. What trouble? You put it in the pan and stir it up. All right.
Caramel apples. Jessie walks to the counter to retrieve her cigarettes as Mama looks for the right pan. There are brief near smiles and maybe Mama clears her throat. We have a truce, for the moment. A genuine, but nevertheless uneasy one. Jessie, who has been in constant motion since the beginning, now seems content to sit. Mama starts looking for a pan to make the cocoa, getting out all the pans in the cabinets in the process.
It looks like she's making a mess on purpose so Jessie will have to put them all away again. Mama is buying time, or trying to, and entertaining. God only knows why. She has a perfectly good trimline at home. Well, how is she? She was probably using the pay phone because she had another little fire problem at home. Agnes Fletcher's burned down every house she ever lived in.
Eight fires and she's due for a new one any day now. Wouldn't surprise me a bit. Why didn't you tell me this before?
Why isn't she locked up somewhere? I guess. Agnes woke every body up to watch the fires as soon as she set 'em. Real lemondade?
THELMAThe houses they lived in, you knew they were going to fall down anyway, so why wait for it, is all I could ever make out about it. Agnes likes a feeling of accomplishment. Good for her. Why are you asking about Agnes?
One cup or two? She's your friend. No marshmallows. You have to have marshmallows. That's the old way, Jess. Two or three? Three is better. Her whole house burns up? Her clothes and pillows and everything? I'm not sure I believe this. Long time ago. But she's still got it in her, I'm sure of it. Where would she go?
She can't get Buster to build her a new one, he's dead. How could she burn it up?
You never know. She wouldn't do it. I guess not. Why does she wear all those whistles around her neck? And she says they just follow her home.
Well, I know for a fact she's still paying on the last parrot she bought. You gotta keep your life filled up, she says. She says a lot of stupid things. Jessie laughs, Mama continues, convinced she's getting somewhere. It's all that okra she eats. You can't just willy-nilly eat okra two meals a day and expect to get away with it. Made her crazy. Where does she get it in the winter? I don't know how much okra the average person eats. Just little plastic ones on a necklace she won playing bingo and I only told you about it because I thought I might get a laugh out of you for once even if it wasn't the truth, Jessie.
Things don't have to be true to talk about 'em, you know.
Mama is suddenly quiet, but the cocoa and milk are in the pan now, so she lights the stove and starts stirring. We should've had more cocoa. I hate milk. Coats your throat as bad as okra. Something just downright disgusting about it. Yes, then, but she's crazy. She's as crazy as they come. She's a lunatic. Did I say something, sometime? Or did she see me have a fit and's afraid I might have another one if she came over or what? What's she ever said? She must've given you some reason. Thelma, so I ain't comin' over and you can understand or not, but I ain't comin.
I'll come up the driveway, but that's as far as I go. I thought she didn't like me! She's scared of me! How about that! Scared of me. I could call her up right now and she could bring the birds and come visit. I didn't know you ever thought about her at all. I'll tell her she just has to come and she'll come all right. She owes me one. I just wondered about it. When I'm in the hospital, does she come over here? When she comes over here, she feels like … Toning it down a little.
Well, we all like a change of scene, don't we? Sure we do. Plus there's no birds diving around. She says I don't understand them. What's there to understand about birds? Why they stay with her when they could be outside with the other birds. How much water they need. What their singing means. How they fly. What they think Agnes is. There's just not that much to things that I could ever see. You didn't have to lie to me about Agnes.
You never asked before! JESSIEYou lied about setting fire to all those houses and about how many birds she has and how much okra she eats and why she won't come over here.
'Night, Mother by Marsha Norman
If I have to keep dragging the truth out of you, this is going to take all night. I'm not a bit sleepy. Ask me whatever you want. And they come to an awkward stop, as the cocoa is ready and Mama pours it into the cups Jessie has ready. Did you love Daddy? I didn't think so. Were you really fifteen when you married him? I'm sitting in the mud, he comes along, drags me in the kitchen, "She's been there ever since?
It was a big fat lie, the whole thing. He just thought it was funnier that way.
God, this milk in here. Not enough, though, does it?You're mad and everybody's boring and you don't have anything to do and you don't like me and you don't like going out and you don't like staying in and you never talk on the phone and you don't watch TV and you're miserable and it's your own sweet fault.
The waiting's the worst part of it.
'Night, Mother by Marsha Norman
What is this universality we are seeking? They were in an old milkcan. A small smile.