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Word Count: 1,488
In her short story Pine Robin Black chronicles the horrible heightened awareness of impending abandonment 163 that most mothers feel as their children grow up and leave the nest in pursuit their own dreams Black has carefully used abandonment in her description of this empty-nest-feeling to show how mothers such as Claire feel as though their child no longer needs or wants their mother like their mother needs them By characterizing Claire as a widow Black exaggerates this feeling of emptiness that Claire feels as her daughter Alyssa grows older With Alyssas maturation the pressure to grow up and conform with her peers becomes ever more apparent and the dependence once cast onto Claire shifts away towards Alyssas friends Her presence serving as the sole reminder of Claires past Alyssa as she grows older gradually erodes the emotional shell that Claire has built around herselfBlacks selection for Claires character to be a widow is a powerful indication of her personality Widows are commonly portrayed as strong and independent yet lonely on the inside with a pseudo-emotionless exterior Colmans description of the modern mother seamlessly integrates with Claires actions and feelings by deviating from the traditional role of motherhood into a more current and relatable viewpointBut I also feel sad And sometimes the sadness spreads across my chest and sinks into my bone marrow It is not modern to talk about such things We contemporary mothers do not cling to our children Other women confess Similar feelings but only when I ask them directly Noempty-nestsyndrome for us we are not going to fall apart when our children leave home After all we have books to write legal briefs to file degrees to earn art to create and trips to take Colman 5Claire struggles with the prospect of her daughter leaving her because she serves as a token of Claires past A reminder that will be stripped away from her as soon as Alyssa departs from
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