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“This form. Would you mind helping me fill it out?” The woman still seems not to understand. “I can’t read it. I don’t know how to read or write, and I’m asking you to help me.”

Throughout the story, I can sense the mother’s hope that her daughter will have the life she hasn’t had. At first, it’s not clear why she wants her daughter to have a better life other than the fact that the girl is her daughter and mothers always want what’s best for their children.

The setting appears to be the 1950s or 1960s. The Civil Rights Movement is happening, and African Americans have gained the opportunity to go to school with white students. Perhaps this change explains why the mother did not get an education but her daughter will be able to get one. The mother is taking a leap of faith, hoping that her daughter will succeed in ways that she hasn’t. When the mother asks another mother if she will help her fill out the form because she can’t read, the reader feels the embarrassment that the mother feels. “‘I see,’ my mother says, looking about the room.” I feel like the mother whispers because she is embarrassed. She wants a different life for her daughter.

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