A Queer Mother For The Nation

A Queer Mother For The Nation Analysis

Fewer people have more reason to kick against the goads of fate, and yet in Fiol-Matta's portrait of Mistral, we see another kind of person instead of a more typical, rebellious, perhaps angry person. Mistral's private writings reflect her awareness of her own frustrations and suffering, her difficult journey to understand her own identity, and the frustration of knowing the ways her world is not suited for her, but instead of being a victim, she decides to collaborate with others for change.

Imagine being Mistral, and coming to realize that the government is just people. Just like people in her community are often callous about her difficult experience of life, so also the government is comprised of callous people who see the world in their own way. So Mistral should hate them and picket the government, right? Instead, Mistral finds a better path. By collaborating with the wealthy and politically powerful, she actually raises their awareness of her community's struggles.

Notice that she doesn't predicate her motherly role on her femininity (she is actually incredibly masculine, and she feels that way, based on her poetry). But, then again, she is motherly. This picture of motherhood is perhaps the most important part of Mistral's legacy, because she decided to truly forgive people, seeing them for all their brokenness and short-sightedness. Instead of hating people who are stuck in archaic opinions, she just encourages everyone to love the people who are around them, no matter whether they earned it or not.

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