Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Motherhood and the Meaning of Sacrifice: Living in Defeat and Dying in Triumph

Monika Brodnicka


This memoir examines the life of the author’s mother in light of the sacrifices that she made for her family. It traces the mother’s own upbringing, describes her challenges as an immigrant, and evaluates the effects of her struggles on her children. The author contemplates her mother’s choice to live in defeat in the name of a better life for her daughters and speculates how the sense of defeat was transformed into triumph during her mother’s last days. Finally, the memoir questions, in general, the rationale behind sacrifice in motherhood: Are all motherly sacrifices beneficial? Under what conditions should mothers sacrifice for their children? What constitutes a good sacrifice?


Motherhood; Immigration; Sacrifice; Memoir; Death; Life

Full Text:


JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

Published by Africa Resource Center, Inc. All inquiries about rights, permissions, reprints and license should be directed to AfricaResource.

Copyright © Africa Resource Center, Inc., 1999 - .