The Joys Of Motherhood (Or Not…) Essay, Research Paper
The Joys of Motherhood…
Buchi Emecheta?s choice of title for her book The Joys of Motherhood
is very ironic. I believe she chose this title in order to make the reader reflect
upon the various meanings this book takes on, one of them certainly being
how much of a struggle motherhood is for anyone, but particularly Nnu Ego.
?…it occurred to Nnu Ego that she was a prisoner, imprisoned by her
love for her children…? Nnu Ego is a loving mother, and this is expected
since the birth of her son is what earns her some face in this village. And yet
her love is so utterly and entirely devoted that she loses respect for herself in
the struggle ensure the flourishing of her children. She realizes this, but her
plummet toward insanity is already on its way, so she goes on without
making the changes that would be necessary in order for her to continue a
Nnu Ego?s journey in search of happiness ends with her becoming a
mother, and after that she seems happy through her thoughts, but when one
takes a step outside her little world and point of view, it becomes quite
apparent that she is living in physical misery. ?Nnu Ego … crawled further
into the urine-stained mats on her bug ridden bed, enjoying the knowledge of
her motherhood.? This quote illustrates the fact that Nnu Ego lives a very
unhealthy life whether she is happy or not.
Her children are everything to Nnu Ego, and since she sacrifices
everything for them, she must experience happiness through them. She
wants them to be successful, and cares not about her life and whether she is
successful or not. A quote that represents this idea very well is on p.202,
?Her joy was to know that she had brought up her children when they had
started out with nothing, and that those same children might rub shoulders
one day with the great men of Nigeria.?
A very ironic theme in the book is the role of men and women.
Toward the end of the book when Naife is old and fat, he grows angry at
Nnu Ego and tells her ? ?…I was not created to suffer for you till I die.? ?
Ironically, Nnu Ego suffers for her husband and her children till she dies, and
even in death she suffers for them. She ?understands? that men own
everything, including her children and herself.
?The joy of being a mother was giving all to your children…? Nnu Ego
believed this and ?obeyed? it and still she ended up dying in a ditch. But was
her life as a mother a failure? Not to her children, but to her. And, according
to this quote that?s how it should be. I?m not so sure I want kids. I might be
a little too selfish.