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The Unspoken Language of Sacrifice and Devotion

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Human-Written

Words: 1230 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Words: 1230|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Love is an action not a word

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

“Let us love, not in words or speech, but in truth and action” (The Bible 1 John 3). Some individuals have trouble expressing one’s love to another through words, so they tend to convey and articulate it through one’s actions. “How Black Mothers Say I Love You,” a play by Trey Anthony is about a 54 year old mother named Daphne, who is a former domestic worker from Jamaica. Daphne leaves her two young daughters, Claudette and Valerie, for six years, in search of work in the United States. She states that it was the only choice she could make in order for her children to have a better future. But her children, Claudette and Valerie, who are now in their mid-thirties do not entirely forgive Daphne, as she also remarries and has another child named Chloe, who passes away due to sickle-cell anemia. Claudette, a lesbian, which Daphne has a diffucult time accepting, left her home to live in Montreal, while Valerie lives close to Daphne in Toronto who pretends to be happily married to a rich, prosperous, white businessman, even when she finds out about his affair. The women are brought together once again, when Daphne is dying as she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. But this does not stop Claudette from expressing the resentment and pain she feels due her mother abandoning her and Valarie in Jamaica to start a new family. Her mother’s denial and rejection of Claudette being lesbian is another way in which she feels deserted by Daphne. But her mother also has her own views on how Claudette’s sexual orientation and how she should live her life. The sisters both yearn to hear Daphne’s words of unconditional love, but they do not come simply, as she is unable to express her love for her daughters openly. The play explores the theme of different expressions of love as Daphne has a way of articulating her love for her daughters through her actions, whether it’s moving out of the country for her children to have a better future, making sure she can accompany her children's needs and wants, or offering to help Claudette take care of her and her baby.

Both Claudette and Valerie felt pain when Daphne leaves them at a young age. But Daphne has a reason behind her actions because she feels that she needed to be a better mother to provide for her daughters. When Claudette persistently asks why her mother abandoned her children, she answers, “I left because I wanted - NO, I needed you girls to know that you could be bigger than a one-room shack on Mandeville Road with nine hungry people in it! I left because I wanted the world to give you a chance. Chances that I never had...It was never for me...Never for me...Never!...And no mother ever wants to leave her children. No mother, but every mother wants better for her children than herself. So, Claudette, you’re right, it may not have been the choice you would have made...but for me you were my only choice!” (83). Daphne thought that she needed to do something for her children to have a better future, without hunger, torment, and suffering. She says that she did not want to leave Claudette and Valerie behind, but she wanted to offer them something she was not offered because of her love for them. She self sacrifices by moving to the States with the hope of building a better life.

When Daphne’s daughters were brought to Canada from Jamaica, she took good care of them and met their needs and desires. When Claudette expresses how she feels upset towards her mother not for expressing her love for her daughters, Valerie tells Claudette,“It’s funny how people remember things differently… Do you remember the first winter that we got here? She had one pair of tennis shoes. And before she left for work at night she would stuff them with newspaper to keep her feet warm. That was the same winter you got two pairs of matching mittens, a scarf, hat and boots. Do you remember that, Claudette? Or you don’t want to remember that?” (57) Daphne looks out for her daughters and sacrifices her own well being for Claudette because of the way she feels for her. Valerie continues to say, “Or do remember the time when you insisted for your high-school graduation that you had to have a three-hundred dollar dress and she couldn't afford it and so she got another job, on top of the other two she has, sewing shoes from home; her fingers used to bleed and she kept on sewing so she could get the f****** money to buy you your dress. Do you remember that!” (57) Daphne got three jobs so she can afford an expensive dress for her daughter's highschool graduation. On top of the exhaustion she suffers from the daily work, she comes home to take care of her children and tries to do what is best for them.

Daphne struggles to express the way she feels and fights to love without judging when she does not agree with her daughter being lesbian. But in the end, she offers to help Claudette and her adopted baby come and live with her. Daphne proposes Claudette name her daughter Naiomi, after the biblical story of Ruth and Naomi. The story was about two women choosing each other, just as Claudette choses her mother and Ruth choses Naomi. They both recite the passage and Daphne says, “I will never leave you. Not even death will part me from you…”(89). This proves the unconditional love Daphne has for her children because of the sacrifices she takes.

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This play can connect to a short video and an article about the life of a mute woman from ABC News. The woman was born a mute and she tells her life story through an article she writes. She discusses her past struggles of communicating to others and writes the hardships of fitting in because she felt rejected by others. But one day, she met her future husband and fell in love despite their differences. The couple did have some differences, but they learned to overcome them. Since the woman was a mute, she expresses her love for her husband through actions not words, just like how Daphne conveys her love for her daughters. The woman does small acts of kindness which illustrates the message of unconditional love. She says that she goes by the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. She writes that some receive love by hearing words of affirmation, for instance saying the words of unconditional love. Others use the love language of acts of service (devotion), for example by doing little things that show one that they love like making soup when one is sick or tucking them in at night. One may receive love by giving gifts, spending quality time, and physical touch. These are some ways the woman shows and receives love. This connects to Daphne and the play because she tries to show her love through actions and her sacrifices. The decisions she makes are made for the better of her children. The little acts of love and the choices she makes proves the love she has for her daughters because love is not a feeling but in fact a decision. 

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

The Unspoken Language of Sacrifice and Devotion. (2024, February 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unspoken-language-of-sacrifice-and-devotion/
“The Unspoken Language of Sacrifice and Devotion.” GradesFixer, 13 Feb. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unspoken-language-of-sacrifice-and-devotion/
The Unspoken Language of Sacrifice and Devotion. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unspoken-language-of-sacrifice-and-devotion/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
The Unspoken Language of Sacrifice and Devotion [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 13 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-unspoken-language-of-sacrifice-and-devotion/
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