No One Cares About Your Dead Mum

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From ‘The Undermining of Dead Mothers in Contemporary Visual Culture’:

In the original Star wars trilogy, it takes Luke Skywalker/Mark Hamill three films to ac- knowledge his dead mother (Return of the Jedi, 1983). In How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Hic- cup’s mother isn’t mentioned until 47 minutes into the film, “and then quickly brushed aside with a joke about her breasts” (Berit Åström 2015). In Jem and the Holograms (2015), a big deal is made of the fact that the characters were orphans, and that their father had left behind a legacy. At no point does the film reference or even consider that the mother is also, presumably, is dead.

Repeatedly, a message is sent to audiences that dead mothers don’t matter, whether through totally neglecting to mention her at all in the narrative, or by emphasising the importance of the father-child bond. As observed in This is a dead mom essay (Maddie Taterka, 2015), “dead parent stories where the parent dies young and while the child is still old enough to comprehend what’s going on seems […] to almost always be about dead dads”.

No One Cares About Your Dead Mum is the publication version of my final year dissertation.

You can purchase a copy on my online shop.

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