(10) Impaired Mother-Child Bonding: Avoidant Attachment in Zelda Lockhart’s Fifth Born

  • Dr. Shamaila Dodhy + Dr. Ayesha Saeed
Keywords: attachment, father, grandmother, love.


Studies on attachment verified that interaction and reaction of caregiver of a child have essential role in formation of child’s attachment. The selected narrative is analysed using the framework of John Bowlby’s evolutionary theory of attachment developed by Mary Ainsworth. The mother-child bonding falls under the category of avoidant attachment. The impact of unresponsive behaviour of the mother is structured in perceiving life as threatening which results in loneliness and social isolation of the child. Grappling with the situation and struggling not to subdue to oppression and neglect turns her irritated. However, the reminiscences of grandmother go parallel with the harrowing present, which play a mediating role helping the protagonist to carry on with an insensitive and cold mother. The literary text can be viewed as therapeutic engagement because when such problems are externalized, they promote reflection on detrimental effects of avoidant attachment of a mother towards a child.


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