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Shvoong Home>Books>Poetry>Abstract on “Catholic Mother” by Eunice De Souza Review

Abstract on “Catholic Mother” by Eunice De Souza

Book Review   by:akso6o175     Original Author: Andy Kester Sawian
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Set within the context of the Catholic faith, the poem interrogates the justification given for the enhancement of the family. ‘Francis X D’Souza’; an imaginary person but a common Goan name. The strong satirical note of the poem drives home the crucial role play by faith in matters of everyday life. ‘God always provides’; the expression reveals the fatalistic attitude of Indians and how faith overrules commonsense. The incorporation of the national policy on family planning, the antagonism evident in the criticism of other faiths and the strongly insistent patriarchal structure that guides the narrative, undercut the issue of motherhood in the poem. ‘These Hindu buggers got no ethics’; displays a mindset evocative of a talent communal tension prevalent amoung all Indians. In fact, it is the experience of motherhood which is weighed down by the rhetoric of faith: the mother, who stands behind the father, Francis X D’Souza, is not considered as an individual at all. ‘The pillar’s wife says nothing’; the punch-line of the poem, this intrusive poetic observation ridicules all the dominant voices in the poem; the silence of the subaltern is haunting and brings to mind Shashi Deshpande’s ‘That Long Silence’. She passively absorbs the dictates of two dominant institutions: patriarchy and religion.
Published: October 28, 2010   
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