In both Patricia Grace's short story It Used to Be Green Once and in Nino Ricci's short story Going to the Moon, the mother figures to the protagonists are caring and outgoing, but differ on their ability to comprehend specific situations.
First and foremost, the characters that act as the mother figures in the short stories both care for the protagonists. The mother of the protagonist in It used to Be Green Once cares for all of her children. This is seen when the main character states that her, "mum would dig out the rotten bits, and then give them to is to take for play-lunch" (Grace 2).The protagonist's mother took the time go through all of her children's lunch and sanitize them so that they would not become ill. In a similar way, the teacher of the protagonist in Going to the Moon, Miss Johnson, acts as the mother figure, caring for him.
When the main character starts crying because he feels humiliated because his jacket was repaired with sewn on buttons, Miss Johnson comforts him and he describes her as "beautiful and soft and gently rounded, and her quick sad concern for me so misdirected... "(Ricci). Miss Johnson cares for the unnamed protagonist and she comforts him when he needs to express his vent up feelings.
The mother in Patricia Grace's short story and the teacher in Ricci's both have the motherly aspect of caring for the main characters. Next, both of the mother figures are outgoing and not afraid of doing as they please. In Grace's short story, the mother is known throughout the community for her extrovert and assertive personality. The protagonist recalls a time where they tried to argue with her over driving without a licence, she retorts," 'What do I want a licence for? I can drive can't I? I don't need the proof,'" (Grace 4).
The mother figure does what she wants to do, and does not care about what others think about it.Furthermore, in Ricci's short story, Miss Johnson's personality was outgoing and she did not follow the other teachers, whether it was her teaching methods or the way she dressed. The unnamed protagonist states that she "stood out from the stiff formality of the priests and nuns like a burst of colour in a grey landscape, coming to school in lipstick and high heels..
. "(Ricci). Miss Johnson stood out from the other teachers, and she did not change herself to match them, and the protagonist loves this characteristic of her. In both of the short stories, the mother figures do not follow a crowd and enjoy standing out.Finally, the mother figures in the short stories vary on their capabilities to analyze the situation.
In It Used to Be Green Once the mother figure does not realize how she continuously embarrasses the main character and the main character's siblings. The protagonist recalls a moment where she is walking home with her brothers, sisters and a teacher and her mother drives by, "We all turned our heads the other way and hoped Mr. Hadley wouldn't notice the car with our mother in it, and her yelling and tooting, and the brim of her hat jumping up and down,"(Grace 5).The protagonist's mother humiliates her and is unaware that she is doing so. On the contrary, in Going to the Moon, the main character's mother figure can understand situations and can act accordingly.
After the death of the Apollo I astronauts, Miss Johnson makes the decision to stop all of the imaginary trips to the moon, as the protagonist states, "At school the pictures came down, the blackboard counter was erased, Miss Johnson wheeling the school television into our classroom finally to watch not a lift-off but a long funeral process... "(Ricci).
Miss Johnson understands the extremity of the situation and stops the fictional flights to the moon as she figures they will be in bad taste. In the short works, the skill to recognize the circumstances is dissimilar between the mother figures. In conclusion, the short stories It Used to Be Green Once written by Patricia Grace as well as Going to the Moon written by Nino Ricci both contain mother figures that are alike in the way they show concern for the protagonists and are extroverts, however, they distinct in their aptitude to adapt to different situations.