The story is about the three different generations that a girl passes through in her entire life, a daughter, a mother and a grandmother. The story covers the experiences, emotional stresses, attachments, reactions, and losses etc that occur in a girl’s entire life at the different stages of her age.
In the early part of her life that is as a daughter a girl is young and energetic having different and vague ideas about life. At that time a girl is learning and developing her mind and thoughts. Some of her actions might not be approved by her mother or her grandmother, as they think and believe that they understand things better. This can be a reality as they have more experience of life.
The role of a girl as a mother is the most divine and of most responsibility. She has this huge responsibility of molding her daughter into a person that could lead a life best suited for her, make her decisions wisely, and prepare for her upcoming challenges as a mother because being a mother is the biggest responsibility of a girl as she is naturally given the duty to ensure that her later generations are raised in accordance with the norms and customs of the society.
The role of a girl as a grandmother consists entirely of her old ideas. Having a life time experience, a grandmother thinks that she can make the best judgment out of any situation and therefore she has her own set of rules and criteria for everything, like judging a person’s personality etc. So because of this grandmothers are often found asking questions which are not acceptable to the younger generation.
In the later part of the story, the grandmother tells her grand daughter about the losses a girl has to endure during her life. She also had endured immense losses during the war. She has seen her husbands body been split up into pieces, her brother and sons blood spilled on the war ground but she endured all this with patience because of her motherland. She teaches her granddaughter about the duty she served as a true patriotic person. She is a responsible human being and wants her granddaughter to fulfill all the duties in the same manner and in all the phases of life.
In all the different generations, a girl has many responsibilities or you can say duties to fulfill. As a daughter, she has an obedient role to play. She has to learn and get accustomed to the requirements of her society and family. As a mother, a girl has a duty to ensure the best possible upbringing of her children, especially her daughters, so that they can be molded in the best way to counter the challenges of life without deviating from the right path. And finally as a grandmother, a girl has this duty of passing her lifetime experiences to the younger generations for their benefit and betterment.
1. Duty: A Short Story of Three Generations, by Courtney E. Martin