English Composition 102
Fran’s mother is dying of cancer but she has lived a more full and satisfying life that her daughter although it had been a sad one. Fran’s mother had, of course, been married and at one time been devoted wife, mother and homemaker. She had endured a difficult marriage since her husband was “rigid, inflexible and unforgiving.”(p. 6) She probably put up with such a nasty man for the sake of her daughter Fran. She did experience the joy of motherhood and the trials and tribulations of parenthood while simultaneously living with a stern and probably mean spouse.
In the story, we also get a sense that Lillian had many friends since she enjoyed, and was so expert at, letter writing although this skill had waned as she grew older and cancer had weakened her.
Fran’s mother also had a strong sense of motherhood. She was willing to give up her whole world (husband, home, friends) for the sake of her unwed pregnant daughter. As the author states in a reference to the story of the duke and duchess of windson “when someone gives up the world for you, you become their world.”(p. 15) In this sense Lillian gave up everything for Fran and so Fran become th
Fran realizes when her mother dies she will then be truly alone - no husband, no child, no father and no mother. First, she became a 40 year old grandmother, yet she could not share her life with neither her daughter or grandchild. This seems to show that she ahs withdrawn into her own shell of single life with only her paintings and care of her dying mother to fill the void of her shallow life. There is a tender moment when Lillian asks Fran to close her eyes and imagine what life would be like when she (the mother) dies. Her body is wrecked by cancer and chemotherapy yet she still maintains her dignity and positive outlook. Fran"tms teenage pregnancy had indeed make her life "dead" as her mother had exclaimed. Her pregnancy happened way too soon in her life. 14) When her biological daughter contacted her after 25 years with a picture of her and her child, Fran came to realize some tragic truths about her life. Because of this, she never got a chance to experience true motherhood nor to have a family of her own. The reader wonders what mother would be willing to give up her whole way of life to protect her unwed pregnant child One can also see the many small sacrifices Lillian has make for her daughter. Lillian also seems to handle life difficulties and trials so much better than Fran. Frank fills up her empty life by oil painting which, at first, starts as a hobby but develops later into a income producing career. She never finished high school, and had to leave her home, father and friends at a very tender time in her life. Her early unwanted teenage pregnancy seemed to affect the rest of her adult life in a negative way.