Det spæde moderskabs følelsesliv

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Amalie Elia Kuhre Wøelsted
4. semester, Dansk (cand.mag.), Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This Master’s Thesis seeks to investigate early motherhood in Danish literature from respectively 1970s and 2010s. The novels that I’ve chosen are Vinterbørn (1976) by Dea Trier Mørch and Mor. En historie om blodet (2016) by Maja Lucas. Both Danish female writers. In particular, the emotional states attributed to motherhood in these literary works are examined why developmental psychologist Daniel N. Sterns theory about the psychology of motherhood is included in this paper. This theory provides an understanding of the mental process that women goes through in the beginning of their motherhood, why it also provides an understanding of the portrayed mothers in the two novels. Affect theory is furthermore used in the analyses of the motherhood portrayed in the two novels, mostly with a focus on happiness, but also other feelings. The purpose of this thesis has thus been to investigate what emotional life that characterizes early motherhood and how it is expressed in the two novels, both of whom portray mothers in the beginning of motherhood in the perspective of their contemporary. This is done through a comparative analysis which clarifies the similarities of the novels as well as the differences in relation to the depictions of early motherhood as well as the emotional life attached to them.
The historical impacts shows that different historical events and societal changes have affected women’s and mothers conditions throughout time. The historical difference between the two novels is also a significant factor in the comparative analysis. By instance this is seen in the analysis of the portraying of the fathers: It is clear that we today live in a more equal society than in the 1970s, which can be seen as a time of changes, where more and more equal relationships are represented in society in contrast to the traditional relationship where the father is almost absent according to motherhood and childcare. Furthermore the analysis examines how the portrayed mothers in both novels are subject to their body's dictatorship in connection with childbirth and breastfeeding and finds that motherhood is tied to the body in both novels. This emphasizes the affects of motherhood displayed in bodily reactions.
Furthermore the analysis finds that emotional states of worry and anxiety, combined with fatique, the sense of immense irrevocable responsibility, are a natural part of a mothers emotional life. This has not changed since the 1970s. The analysis also shows how Vinterbørn portray an overweight of positive emotional states in relation to motherhood. Here love, joy and happiness are dominant, even in unhappy conditions. This contrasts with Mor. En historie om blodet, which instead is characterized by negative sentiments such as anger, frustration, irritation, powerlessness and envy. However, happiness plays a crucial role in both novels. In Vinterbørn, as all mothers become acquainted with maternal happiness and in Mor. En historie om blodet through the absence of happiness. However, the child is perceived as a socially created object of happiness in both novels even though happiness fails in the novel by Lucas, where the mother instead becomes what Ahmed calls an affect alien. Finally the analysis shows how the lack of happiness can have significant consequences for the development of motherhood and the social relations.
Furthermore the placement of the two novels in the history of literature is also discussed in this thesis. It turns out that Vinterbørn isn’t the only contribution in the history of literature regarding motherhood. Despite a relatively small field, there are several examples of women's literature on pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, both before and after Vinterbørn was published in 1976. However, there is a longer intermediate period between the 70s-80s contributions to motherhood literature and the new motherhood literature from our contemporary. Furthermore the negative emotions portrayed in Mor. En historie om blodet are discussed in the context of the zero-fault culture experienced today, which seems to have an significant impact of motherhood.
Antal sider76
ID: 334027862