The Grief of a Motherless Child

By Fields, Suzanne | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 4, 1997 | Go to article overview

The Grief of a Motherless Child


Fields, Suzanne, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


After the mourning, after the public recollections and eulogies, after the royal grief and the glow of the embers of millions of broken hearts has faded, the irrevocable misfortune of Diana's death will hang heaviest over William and Harry.

The trappings of royalty and wealth cannot relieve what everyone of us - yeoman or aristocrat, commoner or of royal blood - can understand: Diana's sons are motherless. Never again will they enjoy her love, her laughter, her passionate and protective concern for their welfare.

Her charities will find other less dazzling sponsors. The couturiers will dress other less glorious models. The beautiful people will enjoy other rich and famous celebrities, although none so beautiful and none so vulnerable.

It is her sons who must live out the darker emotional side of the fairy tale. No theme is more powerful or more poignant in the collected fairy tales than those about children whose mothers have died. The absent mother, the wicked stepmother, the weak or ineffectual father left behind, all are stock figures in fairy tales that offer emotional and empathetic sustenance to motherless children.

There are many sources of these ancient fables, but fundamental to most is loss of a mother to sickness and childbirth, translated into tales of moral and physical abandonment. Cinderella, for example, tends the hearth, is covered with rags and dirt and is penitential as she grieves in sackcloth and ashes for her dead mother.

Origins of this story are found in tales of children who conduct their own personal lent, who show bereavement by covering themselves with earth and who camouflage their beauty in ashes to hide from the jealousy, wickedness and newly gained power of stepmothers and stepsisters. While most of the stories focus on the vulnerability of a daughter, Hansel and Gretel is about the impact of a mother's death on a brother and sister and the subsequent abandonment of them by a weak father and an evil stepmother.

While such stories are both realistic and metaphorical, they persist in popularity because they seek to assuage the psychological terrors of every child who fears being abandoned by a parent. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Grief of a Motherless Child
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.