A mother’s love for their child is one of the most powerful things in my opinion. Based on how my mom feels about me and the fact that I feel like she would do anything for me, I can kind of feel for Bernadette (from “The Big Bang Theory”), I mean Madeline, and the extent that she would go for her child in the fact that no matter what happens to her she still would take all the pain that comes with being the mother of a “demon” child. The unconditional love of a mother towards her children is something incomparable to any other type of love. Unlike other types of love, this is the most innate and naturally occurring. The nurturing need that a mother feels for her child corresponds to a natural instinct that the mother fulfills in taking care of her young.
In the movie “Grace” we see the evolution of the love of the mother from her desperation in trying to will her child back to life that and she is willing to go through whatever consequence she my face, just to support the life of her child. The fact that Madeline wanted to push her dead child out of the womb, feel the pain of a natural birth, without the reward of a having living child, already shows how much she is willing to do for her child. The will that she has for her child to come back to life, shows that not matter what the cost, Madeline is willing to take it. This unconditional love of mother to child in this movie tells the audience the extent of love and responsibility a mother has for her child.
When Madeline found out that her child has an abnormal need of blood for nutrition, she did not hesitate to sacrifice her half and her well-being to be able to support her child. Unlike most people, Madeline did not even second guess if this was the right thing to do for her child, she just knew that no matter what, even though her child was not “normal,” she was going to do whatever it took to make sure that she was taken care of her child. Creed would call Madeline an “abject mother” or ““that which does not ‘respect borders, positions, rules’ . . . that which ‘disturbs identity, system, order,” because we see that Madeline is no longer what we would call a conventional mother but still a mother nonetheless to a “demon child.”
You would think that the monster would be Grace, the “miracle child,” but in a sense the real monster is her mother Madeline. You would not think that a mother caring for her child would be come a monster but according to the reading of Barbara Creed, “Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine,” we see that Madeline becomes a monster in a sense that she abandons all that she is and her past life all for the sake of the child.
The term “abject,” in a sense, flips what we know and changes its meanings entirely. Medline becomes an abject mother and although we see that she is a mother she essentially becomes more than what we are used to seeing. Actually, at the start of the movie we could consider Madeline as an “abject mother” because she goes vegan for the sake of her unborn child but as the movie progresses she goes full on abject and is willing to risk her flesh and blood for her child.
At the end of the day, we see that love brings about the most fundamental emotions within human beings. This question throws out issues of right or wrong and focuses on the relationship of the mother and the child. It is through love that we see the true nature of any human being.
I did not really know what to feel after watching this movie. I mean sure I kind of felt for Madeline in a sense that I think that I would go above and beyond for my child but I guess even if my child were a demon I would try to love them as best as I could. I guess when you become a parent no matter what happens you will try to support your child but I feel like there should be a line that should not be crossed. I guess until I actually become a parent, I won’t really know or be able to put myself in the shoes of Madeline but who know what the future will hold for me.
Barbara Creed, “Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine.” Horror, The Film Reader (Routledge, 2002)