[DWJ] Bad Mothers (was HP)

Charles Butler charles.hannibal at gmail.com
Wed May 16 08:22:57 EDT 2007

Isn't it Mrs Jellaby in *Bleak House *who neglects her own children because
she's so concerned about the ones in Africa? That kind of moral hyperopia
has a long literary heritage, I guess. But it's given an extra twist
in *Conrad's
Fate* because the mother has built a career out of presenting herself as
part of an exploited group, while being a prime exploiter of that group
herself, in the person of her own daughter, whom she undermines ('You're not
clever enough to go to university!') and treats as a skivvy. It's this which
gives her selfishness a particularly hypocritical edge, and one which
derives directly from her self-identification as a feminist.


Website: www.charlesbutler.co.uk

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