salvage the bones by Jesmyn Ward

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Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Number Date Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward Motherhood is undoubtedly the primary theme in Jesmyn Ward’s “Salvage the Bones.” At the beginning of the novel Skeetah owns a dog known as China, who is giving birth to very treasured puppies. A significant part of the novel is focused on Skeetah and Esche’s efforts to provide for the puppies and their mother. On the other hand, Esche herself is pregnant, and it dawns on her that she doesn’t have much of choice but to give birth. She says, "This is what it means to be pregnant so far: throwing up. Sick from the moment I open my eyes, look up at the puckered plaster ceiling, remember who I am, where I am, what I am" (Ward, 34). At this point, China’s puppies are used as metaphors to illustrate what Esche’s future holds. Mothers are portrayed as human figures capable of both love and hatred towards their infants and the world. Medea is a violent mother who takes the lives of her children to avenge her loves cheating behavior. Esche is obsessed with the myth of Medea and Jason, and through Medea’s sinful act, she seems to understand the power that she possesses as a new mother. It is also worth noting that Esche lives in a society full of men which make her live by the memories of her mother, whom she considers her only female influence. Esche describes the conditions she was born in saying “Mama gave birth in the house she bore all of us in, here in this gap in the woods her father cleared and built on that we now call the Pit” (Ward, 01). Nevertheless, she keeps pondering over her impending motherhood which makes the well-known figure, Medea, her only

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