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Hastings Law Journal

Authors

Marie Ashe

Abstract

In her Article Professor Ashe explores the model of the "bad," or "unfit," mother in law and literature-the woman whose reckless or murderous behaviors threaten or destroy her children.

She argues that the "bad mother" archetype influences the legal practitioner and shapes the attorney-client relationship. She challenges prevailing interpretations of "zealous advocacy" and discusses the way in which the "bad mother" figure threatens the development of narrative theory. In attempting to address these problems, she explores Toni Morrison's refiguring of the "bad mother" in Beloved as subject, rather than object, of narrative. Professor Ashe suggests applying a similar practice of refiguring the role of "bad mothers" to the problems of lawyering in family law and other areas. Finally, she suggests ways in which feminist theory embodied in narrative can make significant contributions to ethical theory in general and to legal theory and practice in particular.

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