Jessie's Last Night in 'night, Mother

Marsha Norman's one act play 'night, Mother is basically about Jessie, who is preparing for suicide which may have been provoked by her relation with the other people and the failure of communication and lack of understanding in that relation. Jessie seems very unreflective and doesn't concern herself with spiritual causes in making the decision.

Marsha Norman (21 Sep. 1947)

She makes many arrangements for her mother's future without her, goes inside her room with a gun and kills herself despite mama's desperate efforts to stop her.

Much earlier in the play, Jessie boldly announces her decision to commit suicide. She is busy cleaning the gun with which she will shoot herself. She tells her mother how to order the groceries, how and when to send out the garbage and many other things of daily life. It is very amazing to find her busy doing such things when we already know her intention to commit suicide that very night. She is hell bent on doing the terrible act as she sees no point in covering more miles in the journey of life when the journey is not going to land her anywhere meaningfully. Finding death to be a way out of the frustrations and meaninglessness of life she has decided to embrace suicide. This is the night when the two women who have had no meaningful conversation in the whole of a lifetime get to talking to each other. She finally shuts herself up in her room and doesn't open it despite the shouts and screams of her mother to stop her doing it.

Jessie's last night brings to light the kind of life she has lived. The easy manner in which she is preparing for suicide is very striking. The final scene is so dramatic that the experiences of the whole life are made vivid as if in a flash. The mother's promise to do as Jessie pleases in order to stop her life is highly insightful and revealing. We hear a shot and know that Jessie has killed herself.

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Introduction of 'night, Mother

Summary of 'night, Mother

Biography of Marsha Norman