Motherhood and Upbringing
In Marge Piercy’s Book He, She, and It the story starts off with the dramatic court battle over the custody of little Ari which inevitably leads to Shira only getting partial custody of her 2 year old son she so deeply loves. I find this very interesting because compared to our society where we put high emphasis on the family bonds provided to the mother child relationship as women are viewed as the primary caretakers of children as well as the household. After the initial courtroom process the actions to remove the child from her were immediate as Shira was met with cold remarks of the supervisor saying “a security assignee picked up Ari Rogovin eighteen minutes ago. We were informed this was proper. You are not authorized to pick up Ari Rogovin except on Wednesdays” (Piercy, 5). This immediate action struck me as if she isn’t even related to child and that she has no business at all being there, even more so when earlier the courts ignored her mention on the birth certificate against the last name Rogovin but insisted on using it. Flash forward after a couple months of legal battles and we see evidence that Josh obviously doesn’t have what it takes to raise a child on his own as the house is a mess with food wrappers and unwashed pots and he’s choosing to live in the filth as if to spite Shira for what she has done (Piercy 14).
After discovering that she has once again been denied the service of seeing her own son, Shira returns home to work for her childhood friends to sort out this mess of losing her son where she meets Yod and soon finds herself raising this “overgrown child”. I think this is a great nod to Shira that although she doesn’t have her son that doesn’t mean she won’t be a mother figure. Yod particularly reminded me of a child who didn’t know any better when after being scolded for tearing up the rose bush. In her anger she accidentally hit Yod but realized it wasn’t really his fault. Just like a child Yod realizes that he has upset her and doesn’t really enjoy seeing her like that. Shira realizes this moment and they both work together to try and salvage the rose bush from this accident (Piercy 91).
Piercy, Marge. He, She, and It: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1991. Print.