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My Mother's Blue Bowl

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by

Kaltum Abdulle

on 22 September 2014

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Transcript of My Mother's Blue Bowl

Alice Walker, the American author and activist wrote the famous novel The Color Purple for which she won the National Book Award and the Publisher Prize for Fiction
Conclusion
Thesis
Literary Terms

Summary
My Mother's Blue Bowl
Tone
This essay has a reflective, admiring, and sentimental tone
"There was my mother herself. Glowing. Her teeth sparkling. Her eyes twinkling... And in the light and warmth that was her, we dined.
Thank you, Mama."
Alice Walker
Letting go of a person's valuable possessions easily and without regret is an important factor in life. People should value the people in their life and around them more than the materials they obtain
"My Mother's Blue Bowl" is a short essay by Alice Walker that recalls her mother's lesson on the unimportance of material objects. Her mother dreams of buying a beautiful, big home to satisfy her kids but soon after she accomplishes this dream, she moves into a small, cramped apartment in the projects that happens to pleased her. Each time Alice visits her mother she notices that her possessions are dwindling and the only item that Alice keeps from her mother is a blue bowl that she believes is a symbol of her childhood. Learning from her mother and her way of life, she realizes that money cannot bring your life fulfillment and satisfaction.
Intended Audience
Symbolism
Foreshadowing
Anyone with the ability to connect to the memory of a loved one or an object that serves as a symbol or memory

More intended for teens and adults
Thesis Support:
"In giving me these gifts... she had taught me a lesson about letting go of possessions-easily, without emphasis or regret"
Her mother gave her the bowl without hesitation demonstrating that letting go of items is a part of life
The mothers lessening of her possessions foreshadows her death and how by letting go of her possessions, she is able to let go of herself and accept her death
How the essay starts with her mother's dreams of owning a large beautiful house foreshadows her mother achieving that goal.
The Bowl:

The mother easily gives away the bowl representing how her mother easily gives out her love

The bowl is described as being “seemingly full forever, no matter how deeply or rapaciously the children dipped, as if there was no bottom (254). This represents her mothers endless supply of love for her children no matter the conditions

The bowl was “noticeably chipped at the rem” (251) which symbolizes the years of hardships the family has survived though

Conflict
Person vs. person
The mother decided to move into the projects even though her husband “struggled to adjust to” (252) and her daughters were “never to feel comfortable” (252)

Person vs. society
The constant expectation that money buys happiness. Society has taught people that materialistic objects make people more happy and content.


In the essay the mother teachers the daughter “a lesson about letting go of possession” (253) yet the daughter remembers her mother through a possession. She holds on to the bowl, symbolizing her mother, despite her mothers lesson

The essay begins by stated that her mother “longed for a beautiful house of wood or stone” yet after obtaining her dreams, moves into the projects stating that she feels more comfortable there

Irony
Diction
Words
"longed, passionately longed"
"The humble
and the obsolete"
words and terms that set the mood of the essay
"light and warmth"
Alice Walker ends her memoir with a remembrance of her mother and thanks her for the love that she gave to her and her family
THE
END

"You can have both of them, she said, barely acknowledging them, and continued to put the leftover food away."
"The blue bowl stood there, seemingly full forever, no matter how deeply or rapaciously we dipped, as if it had no bottom."
Full transcript