In He, She and It by Marge Piercy one of the first things that I noticed when I started reading was how Shira sounds like a completely normal woman, someone that we might see today, even though this book is set in a completely strange and unusual world to us. One of the things I liked about Shira is the relationships that she has. We start the book with her ending a relationship (with Josh, her husband), but we’re then shown that family is so important to her because of her son and her grandmother.
I was immediately drawn to the fact that the one major thing in her life is her son, Ari: “‘I’ve made a lot of mistakes,’ Shira said. ‘But Ari wasn’t one of them. He’s precious, Malkah, he’s life itself to me…'” (Piercy, 9). She loves Ari with her whole heart and I really liked to see that because we haven’t really read a story yet where the main character is completely concerned with her child, and it was a nice change for me to see that as a reader.
Like we talked about in class, Marge Piercy is obviously drawing a lot from her past relationships with her mother and her grandmother and putting it in the book. So right away, we know that Shira’s grandmother, Malkah, is an important figure in her life: “Although she was Shira’s grandmother, she had raised her.” (Piercy, 8). Obviously, being raised by Malkah means that Shira has a special connection with her because she’s really been Shira’s mother.
I’m really interested in both Shira’s relationship with her grandmother and her son, and at this point, it seems like both of those things are going to be an important part of the book overall.