what was mariams and nana relatinship like
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Nana loves Mariam but their relationship is more complex. Nana coaches Mariam in the extremely patriarchal world that women live in. I think she also sees Mariam as lower on the hierarchy of things. She often speaks to Mariam harshly telling her daughter that she,
"...was an illegitimate person who would never have legitimate claim to the things other people had, things such as love, family, home, acceptance."
I don't think we can look at love and motherly relationships from purely a Western context. Things in Mariam's world are more complicated.