A mother can impact lives greatly. Could you imagine growing up without a mother? You can either be very lucky with a mother that cares for you or be deprived of that sense of love from a mother figure. It is inhumane to destroy any kind of maternal bond because mothers are not people to depend on, but are people to make depending not required. In my opinion, Harry doesn’t understand the true meaning of mothers earlier in the story but does get they have some sort of value.
The repercussions of this lie in the story. Many times he brings up mothers whether it’s with his sick wife or the infant monkey’s mother. Harlow must not think much of mothers in general based off of what was said in the story, “Mother’s are useful, …in scientific terms” (Harlow 310). A solid explanation is the fact that he obviously does not totally understand the strip down meaning of mother.
Harlow is now drawing a very small part of the very big picture, “They have intrinsic value, even beyond their breast milk. Call it their company” (Harlow 310).
He gets that mothers naturally belong and that they are sort of important to the people they need to influence and care for, no matter if they are human or not. However, at this point in the story he doesn’t comprehend the true values of mother. Harlow later in the story conducts an experiment with an infant monkey and its mother that should give him closure about his hypothesis.
Without compassion he begins tests, “Anxiety first, shown in trembling and shaking; then come the screams” (311). This examines Harlow and his lack of realization and empathy towards mothers and how they have essentials that are beyond scientific. Slowly though, he begins to show and give in to his inner feelings about mothers. It takes a few experiments for him to realize “Time after time, baby monkeys return. Bad mother is better then none” (312). It took time and cruel methods but Harlow is almost at the point where he accepts the true meaning of Mother.
The turning point was the “Deep swig” (Millet 314). In his drunken self-conscience the truth was released. He began to fathom the underlying details that he couldn’t pick up from his time with the monkeys earlier. Still trying to hold on to thoughts put into his mind, “He mistook each infant monkey for a beloved soul. In that way the nightmare was confusing” (Millet 314). As you can see it is still in his conception not to believe himself that what he was doing was wrong. This is a battle between his self-conscience and what he was taught to believe. Finally, actuality kicked in, “He saw each infant in the heart of its mother, precious, unique, held so close because the mother was willing to die for it.” (314).
What Harlow saw was the absolute certainty of what his inner being was desperately attempting to communicate to him. It was that he was wrong. The test subjects before him were real living things just like himself. The mother is a complex creature proven throughout the story. These actions all help express why mothers and their presence are so important. As shown, they are very crucial in the development of younger beings. The mother is a helper by nature, impacting by teaching its child to survive at life. Independence is the arch lesson that is taught by the mother. Harlow enduringly grasps the cardinal meaning of why it is inhumane to destroy any kind of maternal bond. Mothers are not people to depend on, but are people to make depending not required.