The play presents an attempt by Jessie to commit suicide, with her mother, Thelma, trying to intervene, but with no success. Jessie is a divorced woman in her late thirties, who stays with her mother, who is deceased and has some medical complication, and her son, who seemed to be her only hope, turned out to be a thief, which really hurts her. Being epileptic, it is difficult for her to secure a job, which complicates her life further. Thelma takes an appealing approach to life, despite the challenges that persist. As such, she is jovial and contented with whatever she has, irrespective of the quantity or value attached.
From the play, it is evident that different members of families keep things to themselves, while others speak them out. In this regard, when one speaks out her mind, she is relieved of the heavy burden in her mind, as the issue is discussed and a more appealing standpoint proposed. On the other hand, failure to speak out troubling issues does more harm than good. From the play, it comes out that Jessie’s mother was not used to speaking to her on crucial aspects of life, until on the last fatal day. The play presents the mother to be manipulative to a significant extent, something that is not well received by Jessie. On the other hand, it presents Jessie as a woman, who is not settled in the mind. As such, on a fateful day, Jessie asks her mother where the rifle is kept, and while cleaning it, tells her mother that she intended to commit suicide, the very same day. This gets the mother by surprise and she decides to restrain her daughter from the act but is unsuccessful. When Jessie shots herself behind the closed door, her mother says, “Jessie, Jessie child... Forgive me (Pause.) I thought you were mine" (Norman 1530). This clearly shows that the mother is guilty that she might have done something that could have led to her daughter committing suicide.
Memories of Jessie’s father seem to be the only consoling thing available to her.
Works CitedNorman, Marsha. "Night Mother." Making Literature Matter: An Anthology For Readers and Writers. 2nd ed. Eds. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003. 1497-1530.
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