Thursday, October 17, 2013
All Babies Are Beautiful
The bond between a mother and a child is one no one can ever explain or understand unless she experiences it. It is sure to be a beautiful and fulfilling experience, one that is sure to consume a life and in Lisa Tuttle’s short story “The Replacements,” experiences just that. She is consumed by the creature and has a motherly bond with it that seems impossible to break.
There are so many words to describe what a mother can be but some of the things that help create such a strong bond between mother and child include of course child bearing for six months, nursing, and having your own genes in another person’s body. When Jenny brings the creature home and becomes completely infatuated with it—so much that she begins to ignore her husband—it’s not really a surprise that a woman can have this sort of connection. I think women really are with some sort of motherly instinct, some may have a stronger sense of it than others, but we have this intrinsic feeling of love and caring.
Jenny begins to mirror mother-like qualities; the creature takes up her time and attention, and she even lets it drink her blood. Although I have yet to be a mother I can only imagine how a child can consume your life and things that may have seemed important before may not seem so important after your child is born. In this case, Stuart was so important in Jenny’s life before she discovered the creature but he later becomes almost nonexistent in her life and moves her own life in a different direction. Stuart seems frustrated and baffled as to how Jenny could love such an ugly creature but I think it’s safe to say that all mothers believe their child is the most beautiful creature on earth. Just as new born babies sometimes aren’t all that cute at first, no matter what a mother will pour enormous amounts of love into her child’s life.
Many mothers also nurse their children, which can only make a bond stronger as the child is depending on its mother for survival. This intimate act is similar to the one Jenny shared with the creature when she allowed it to drink her blood. The creature needed her blood for survival so Jenny was able to feel needed which was probably very fulfilling to her. While reading this story, I often scrunched my face in disgust when wondering how she could find such a horrific creature so beautiful and how she could let it suck her own blood! But when looking at it from the perspective of a mother, I don’t even need to question the extremities she went to in the story.
Tuttle, Lisa. "The Replacements." American Gothic Tales. Comp. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996. N. pag. Print.