April 8, 2013
Although the narrator’s mother in the short story “Drown” by Junot Diaz is portrayed as a quiet and almost silent figure, the element of paradox is prevalent when we (the reader) recognize that she is all the narrator has left. The mother needs the support from the narrator just like the narrator needs her support as well. Since they are poor, it is up to both of them to be able to cover their bills, and without each other they would struggle even more. These contrasting and contradictory aspects function together by the mother’s degree of silence is comparable to the degree of importance in the narrator’s life. The factor of their co-dependency serves a purpose in her importance to the narrator. The mother is someone who he can come home to, and have a meal waiting for him and some new clothes once in a while, although it came from his money. The narrator recognizes all that his mother has done for him in the past and feels that it is his turn to give back and provide. With the mother still being around it is good for the narrator because he is still learning responsibility through her, and even though his father figure is not around anymore it seems like she (the mother), has taken that role.
In my view, the mother’s importance to the narrator is essential and necessary. Her presence still serves as someone to turn to and a figure of guidance. She continues to show the responsibilities of being an adult and although she remains very quiet, the first person narrator can still understand. Her quietness and near invisibility functions as a display of her feelings for which the narrator knows, accepts and doesn’t shun her for. We the reader, can better understand the central character’s characteristics through the elements of paradox. He is accepting, grows more responsible each day and loves his mother, the only person he has left, very much.