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Maternal Detatchment

             It was troubling to read about the child abandonment issues in Brazil that were expressed in the book. To read that the “Selective neglect of infants along with maternal detachment are seen as appropriate maternal responses to a child who does not show the resilience necessary for survival under extreme circumstances of the shantytown” (112) is extremely bothersome, yet in some empathetic way, understood. It is comprehensible that when family’s from “shantytowns” (whom generally) do not have the emotional or financial support to care for these children, they leave it up to the will of the child to survive or not, because then again as one mother said “it was wrong to fight death” (113). Even when mothers let their children die, without attention, care or protection, they are expected to stay strong and not shed tears, as if they have moved on and ready to bear more, healthy children. I feel that an ideal mother should not be “learning how to let go”, but “learning how to hold on”. .
             Although I try to understand the mother’s point of view, my ethnocentric views have much more to say about this matter. It is clear that these women’s economic and social standing is not the most elite and they do not have opportunities, as those of the middle or upper class to seek childcare whenever they think it is necessary. I also understand that these women are placed in extremely difficult positions when they need strong healthy children in the future to work and help support the family. But my optimistic self cant help to believe that something positive can be brought from this. Even when women are in mourning from losing their child, they may also feel a closer connection with other women in their communities that are there for support, and able to teach them how to learn and grow from each mishap. .
             Although this isn’t what most people want to hear, there needs to be something these women can do in order to not only help themselves but their families.