Shizuko's Daughter Shizuko's Daughter discussion

Something to think about

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message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Crocker I read this years ago and found it quite sad. Poor Yuki has to grow up without a mother, deal with an emotionally absent father and a cruel stepmother. I really don't get the stepmother. On one hand, she's very mean to Yuki who resents her but then again she goes and buys her clothing and as I remember, when she was getting ready to get married she was asking Yuki if she would call her "Mother". Wicked stepmothers are a common element in fiction but at least it's transparent why the stepmother is so mean to the stepchild. Hanea gives no apparent reason, she's just mean to Yuki. I don't blame Yuki for getting out. I'd run away with a stepmother like that.

Kaotic My interpretation of why the stepmother was so cruel to Yuki has a lot to do with the society they lived in.

It was looked down upon that the father got remarried after the death of her mother, which because it was suicide was looked down upon anyway. Therefore, the stepmother was gossiped about and frowned upon in society (it's been a while since I read it, but I believe the stepmother and the father were having an affair - of which would only make things worse in societies eyes. And I am sure that would have been gossiped about as well).

Therefore, the stepmother was angry with her life and felt the need to hate on and belittle Yuki because she was there and was an easy target. I seem to remember society having to do with why she bought Yuki new clothes, at least in part. She wanted Yuki to dress in a way that the people in their neighborhood to approve of her as a stepmother, and if Yuki was wearing older clothes that were wearing out, she would be seen as an incapable mother.

The other reason I seem to remember for her buying Yuki new clothes and destroying the old ones is because the old clothes were made by Yuki's biological mother, and I believe the stepmother resented the biological mother for being something she would never be to the father, and I believe she was unable to have children as well - so she would have resented a child not of her own loins.

As for her asking Yuki to call her "Mother," I think it's because she wanted to make a good impression on those showing up and wanted to... Well, not make amends but perhaps form a truce and ease some of the tension.

Like I said, this is all just my interpretation of when I read this book, but I think it had a lot to do with inner resentment and societies frowning upon the stepmothers life.

(Sorry if this was a little long winded, I like discussing books a lot.)

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