A Critique of “Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)” by Terry Hekker
Being a mother and wife in today’s society has become something of a carefully orchestrated, full-time job for a lot of women. After giving birth to a child and/or saying “I do” at the altar, a variety of many different challenges arise. These challenges vary from that of the 50’s where marriages were expected to last forever, divorces were rarely heard of, and most mothers opted out of working to pay their bills. Then, a woman was expected to be a homemaker and to rear the children at home while the man of the house goes out and makes a living for the rest of the family. Although still true for some families in this time of despair, the decision to be a full-time mother and worker or just a homemaker is one that requires a lot more finesse when deciding. Just imagine being the authority on life as a homemaker, spreading the word all over national television, writing books and articles on the subject that were widely criticized, and giving lectures in front of large crowds defending your position, then close to three decades later being dropped like a bad habit in your 60’s with no work experience, no way to support yourself? This is the controversy that led Terry Hekker to the business end of the barrel called life, and she thoroughly expresses her roller coaster position on the struggles of being a wife and mother in the 20th compared to the 19th century in the article “Paradise Lost”, a follow-up piece published on January 1st, 2006 to her previous column that appeared in the December 20th, 1977 printing of the New York Times.
Starting out with a story from her niece’s baby shower, Hekker describes her own family member as essentially condemning everything that she once lived for and inciting a reevaluation of everything that once stood true for her. She reminisces about all the attacks she had to withstand throughout her career choice of being a stay at home mom and regurgitates all the...
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