"Shopping" by Joyce Carol Oates

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Montiel 1

Love of a Mother
The relationship between a mother and daughter may be very difficult. Today modern women live different lives then a long time ago. A lot of women are single parents and hold a career, therefore making the job of a mother very difficult. There are many complications and heartaches, but then there is always the plus size of love and rewards. This is no exception between Nola and her mother Mrs. Dietrich, characters in “Shopping by Joyce Carol Oates. Nola is obviously trying to spread her wings and fly into a young woman, however; Mrs. Dietrich is having a really hard time letting her go. In Oates short story one is exposed to the hardship that a mother has in watching her daughter transition from a girl into a young woman. The shopping trip allows Mrs. Dietrich to see her daughter as child once again and hide the new young adult life that Nola has returned from college with. It also gives her mother a chance to in some way interact and be a part of her daughter’s life. As a divorced woman, Mrs. Dietrich is very lonely so she yearns for these special moments with her daughter, she sees her daughter as her only source of love-her outlet to give and receive love. “…Mrs. Dietrich thinks she is in love with her daughter,” (Oates 186). These strong emotions are most likely why Mrs. Dietrich needs Nola to such and extent. Mrs. Dietrich wants to feel needed by her daughter like when her daughter was a child. The betrayal of Mr. Dietrich causes Mrs. Dietrich to cling even more. However, she finds that Nola no longer needs her. Nola is becoming an adult. Mrs. Dietrich's memories of Nola as a child are now replaced with the images of her daughter at the mall Montiel 2

doing things that bring back times when she was child like “ …holding items of clothing up to herself in the three way mirrors, modeling things she thinks especially promising” (Oates 188). These are things she did as a child when they both use to go to the mall...
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