Night Mother

Topics: Death, Suicide, Fear Pages: 2 (717 words) Published: July 15, 2008
In the play, “night, Mother” by Marsha Norman talks about Thelma Cates who tries to stop her daughter, Jessie, from committing suicide. Thelma Cates uses tactics and arguments in order to persuade her daughter to stay alive; however she fails at the end. In this essay, insights will be given at the argument that Thelma uses to persuade her daughter into staying alive. More precisely, Thelma Cates talks about the future to her daughter in hopes that it will change her mind. She also mentions life after death and she uses the guilt card to see if her daughter will change her mind.

Firstly, the mother tries to imagine the future in order to convince Jessie to postpone her decision in committing suicide. The first set of arguments that Thelma uses thinking that it will keep her daughter from killing herself is figuring out if a job, event, person, moment, object is the leading cause for her daughter’s suicidal decision. She is trying to find out what is bothering her so she can be able to make the changes that would please Jessie. She asks her “what did [she] do?” and what did others do that bothered her, like Dawson, Jessie’s brother, and his wife (1003). Here the mother tries to do everything to keep her daughter alive. She absolutely wants to stop her from killing herself. Cates ends deciding that “none of them [are] ever setting foot” again in the house where Jessie and her are living (1004). But all that does not change anything for Jessie, they were not the reason why she wants to die. Furthermore, Thelma Cates tries to let her change her mind by telling her to “get a job”, to “rearrange the furniture” or to do something that would change her everyday life and to see and talk to people (1008). The mother for example, tries to make her daughter understand that the situation in what she is, is because of her own fault and that all the ideas she has in her head are illusions and what she thinks is not true. However, these arguments were not the most...
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