Unseen Commentary

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2) i.
Old mother and her mother-in-law have a poor relationship as they are unable to communicate with each other well. Old mother’s mother-in-law felt that Old Mother was ‘incapable’ of giving birth to males. Thus Old Mother’s mother-in-law deemed Old Mother as one who was infertile and unable to produce any male children to the family. Therefore showing that Old Mother’s mother-in-law looked down upon Old Mother as she did not have much confidence in Old Mother to achieve her mother-in-law’s expectations of a daughter-in-law. Old Mother calls her mother-in-law as ‘the old haughty one’. This implies that Old Mother’s mother-in-law was arrogant. Thus to call someone arrogant shows that the person is proud and snooty, therefore difficult to maintain a good relationship as Old Mother’s mother-in-law despises old Mother. Old Mother also describes her mother-in-law as one with a ‘poisonous tongue’. This shows that her mother-in-law often criticises Old mother and often, these criticism are hurtful. Hence, it is difficult to maintain a good relationship when there is constant criticism of each other and lack of respect for one another.

Old mother and her sister-in-law have a strained relationship as they are faced with the competition of being the ideal daughter-in-law with the best children. Old Mother experienced ‘bitter humiliation’ from her sister-in-law. Thus Old Mother was embarrassed by sister-in-law as they both were competing for their other-in-law’s favour by having the healthiest sons. This shows that through the competition between the two, Old Mother’s sister-in-law had done some things to purposely disgrace Old Mother thus straining their relationship. Also, Old Mother describes her sister-in-law to be ‘as spiteful as a snake’. This shows that sister-in-law as mean to Old Mother and was unpleasant towards Old Mother. Thus showing the stiff competition in the family to produce healthy sons in which caused Old Mother and her sister-in-law to be mean...
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