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Throughout Birds of a Lesser Paradise, Bergman uses animal motifs to mirror or convey some type of human experience . She seems to have a fascination with emotionally conflicted expecting mothers and women that haven’t had supportive husbands or lovers. These women are often on their own and are doing the best that they can to provide for their child, such as in “Housewifely Arts”, where the mother is single, but still manages to be strong for her son.  The narrator in “Another Story She Won’t Believe” is different from the narrators in Bergman’s other stories, because she is unwilling to give up addiction for the love of her husband and daughter. Two main themes, abandonment and addiction, are revealed in the first sentence of the story when the narrator says “We are the bad mothers, the moose and I—me for drinking, the moose for abandoning her yearling to attend her newborn”. The narrator is the moose, her newborn is alcohol and the yearling is her daughter Leslie. The narrator is given an ultimatum by her husband, Ryan. She must seek help or he is leaving her and taking her daughter away. Stereotypically speaking, characters that struggle with some type of addiction tend to be male, or at least they seem to be more flamboyant about their addictions than female characters. I can’t count the times I’ve run across the alcoholic father character that is verbally or physically abusive, or he abandons his family one day out of the blue. By making the narrator a mother, her addiction seems selfish and loathsome. Mother’s are supposed to be selfless angels that would give up their lives before they would give up their children. When I first began reading this story, the narrator seemed like an unfit, selfish mother. In the end, Bergman was able to transform my feelings of disgust into pity for the broken woman who wanted so much to love her daughter, but felt unworthy and was thought to be unworthy by her daughter.Bergman does a great job of bringing out the mother in the narrator through her job as a volunteer at the lemur center. She had lost all hope of reconnecting with her daughter and she wanted to prove to herself that she could still be nurturing, that all her motherly instincts were not washed away by her addiction, so she took Faye home with her.  All the love that the narrator had for her daughter was channeled into Faye, even though she would have eventually lost her as well.

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