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Night Mother Essay

The play “Night, Mother” addresses the human condition and how character human depth influences the way readers understand drama. The invisible characters play a large part on how the two main character’s act, and how it influences their dialogue. The father, the son of Jessie, and her ex-husband are mentioned throughout the play, and they set up the dynamic of the story, physically and emotionally. Exploring their human depth and their importance throughout the play helps the reader of the story understand theater and the drama. The father plays a large part in the play Night Mother.

In the play, Jessie asks for her father’s gun. She then eventually tells her mother she is going to kill herself with it. In the play, you can tell her and her father are very close. I feel as though Jessie will only use her father’s gun because it’s as if her father is killing her. Cleaning the gun in front of her mother shows that she is making the point that she wants to kill herself. , when she could have just put it on the table or quietly went to her room with it. Throughout the play, you can barely tell the Jessie is completely serious about giving up her life.

She stays so placid and calm as she tells her mother, who is in denial at first, but soon realizes as Jessie is making lists of things she will soon have to do on her own, that her daughter is completely serious. They talk about things Jessie has never been good at, like being a mother, a good wife, or having any real skills because of her battle with epilepsy. Ben Brantley from the New York Times states, “Yet anger and score-settling satisfaction flicker betrayingly across her stark features as she itemizes the long list of minuses that make up her life: her ailures as a wife and mother, her epilepsy, her lack of professional skills, the death of the father who appears to have been the only person she truly loved. ” (Brantley)

This quotation states that in the play, Jessie has already lost the people she has loved most already in her life. She lost her father, her son is a delinquent and her ex-husband left her because she was incapable of doing many things due to her disease. It sets a very sad tone as the play goes on. Even though Jessie seems to care a lot about her mother, since she has been taking care of her for many years, you can sort of see the bit of hostility throughout the play.

Jessie blames her mother for many things that went wrong in her life. Jessie feels as though her mother never loved her father, and her father had the same seizures as she did, which her mother hid from her all along. According to Leah D Frank from the New York Times, “Next, Jessie and Thelma talk about Jessie’s ex-husband, who Thelma conspired to introduce to Jessie. During the marriage, Jessie fell off a horse, and the accident was thought to have led to her seizure disorder. But one of the truths that has come out was that Jessie began having seizures as a child, but Thelma covered it up.

It was something she didn’t want to think about, so she found a way to simply go on. ” (Frank) This quote explains that Thelma has been hiding so many things from Jessie, because she thought she was protecting her, but in reality it was really hurting Jessie in the long run. Thelma didn’t like to think about things, she would rather them just go on. But in the end, this really hurt Jessie because when she ‘developed’ her epilepsy, her husband left her. If she knew she had epilepsy beforehand, she wouldn’t of had a failed marriage on her head, and a delinquent son.


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