University of Tasmania
whole_FalconerGabrielle1997_thesis.pdf (4.41 MB)

The mother-son relationship : an investigation of mutual responses

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posted on 2023-05-26, 23:14 authored by Falconer, Gabrielle
This thesis creates a narrative in which a child's growing independence and separation from the mother are dealt with. The importance of this relationship in the formulation of both their identities is exposed. I have identified the emotions involved in the separation such as loneliness, protectiveness, frustration, jealousy, tenderness, isolation, rejection and abandonment. Accepted notions of the role of the mother have sentimentalised the relationship between the mother and child and this is expressed in much Western art. My personal experience as a mother has caused me to challenge these assumptions. Through an investigation of my personal experience I have achieved a deeper understanding of this aspect of women's lives. I have developed a concept of the mother as a separate body; a female body. Rather than seeing the child gain his distinct identity with the mother suffering a loss and abandonment, I have understood myself as also independent of my child and my role as a mother. Feminine sexuality is central to any such considerations and the relationship a woman has with her own mother is crucial to an understanding of motherhood and feminine experience. I have used my mother's participation, both actual and psychological, within my own experience of motherhood, as a case study. The sexual tension that exists between a mother and her male child and that is usually suppressed in representation, is revealed as an element of our interaction. I have found in the course of my research that much of the study done in this area is undertaken by those who have not experienced motherhood. I have achieved some fusion of theoretical analysis and personal on going experience in order to expand and evolve our understanding of this aspect of our lives.


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Copyright 1996 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1997. Includes bibliographical references

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