We were strangers from the beginning
tormented by our difference
which did not exist.
An important ingredient inherent in a successful mother-daughter relationship is balance. Like the scales of justice, maintaining equilibrium requires work. The special bond between mother and daughter is delicate and unlike any other relationship due to expectations of performance on behalf of both women. The female psyche is, characteristically, particular: each woman having a certain regiment making themselves unique. Ideals and behavior learned, possibly inherited, from others are two of many things which carve an individual's personality. It is these similarities and differences which often cause conflicts between mother and daughter. In A Jest of God, the relationship between Rachel and her mother is strained due to unspoken expectations that each had of the other. Stemming from poor communication, a host of differences were assumed to exist between the two, when in fact their struggle originated in their sameness.
The largest weapon which spear-headed the communication war between Rachel and her mother was the generation gap; coming from different eras, the pair assumed they had nothing in common. In Rachel's eyes her mother was a pristine, saintly woman who maintained high moral values for herself and her family. Therefore, being a good person and making the right decisions was never questionable to Rachel, as this was how her mother expected her to behave. Rachel listened numerous times to her mother comment on how "peculiar" her behavior looked, and spoke of anyone else she observed doing the same. Although this annoyed Rachel about her mother, she adopted similar paranoia tendencies, speculating how her behavior with Nick, a summer beau, looked to anyone who could be watching or noticing. Irritated by her mother's attitude, Rachel excused it on the pretense that her views reflected the...