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Caring for Roosje

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the novel Roosje, written by the journalist Gerard van Westerloo about his mother; she had a joyless childhood in a Catholic orphanage. It analyses this story as an evaluation of two care practices: the charitable care practice that Roosje experienced and the motherly care that she gave Gerard, his brothers and his sister. The novel can be viewed as a tribute by a son to an ordinary mother who gave quality to his life by creating a safe and loving home for him. This biographical story serves also as a kind of expressive articulation, since the son explains his mother's feelings of inadequacy because of what happened to her in a Catholic asylum in her youth. The son places the responsibility for the deficient care especially on his mother's female relatives and the sisters in The Providence.

Keywords: Catholic orphanage; charitable care practice; deficient care; Gerard van Westerloo; motherly care; Roosje; The Providence



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