The name of each woman in the therapy group reflects both traditional feminine associations and her personal role in the film. One thing “The Private Life of an American Mom” shares with many other works of fiction is that the secondary characters have backstories that are much more developed than the story is allowed to reveal. Fortunately, this blog is great place to provide more detail about these women who are important to the story even though they do not appear with the same frequency as Mom, Monique, or Jack.
Margaret - this character is fascinating and although her role is limited, she requires an incredibly talented actor. Margaret is bridled intensity. Of all the women in the group Margaret is the highest risk for harming herself and others. Margaret suffers from severe postpartum mental health disorders. Margaret, a white woman, is highly intelligent and was a high-level software engineer before she lost her job due to long term pregnancy related illness. Margaret’s husband is not very supportive or helpful with the baby and household work.
Margaret means “pearl” in Greek, which is appropriate: pure beauty formed from grit inside. This name also provide a dose of irony because Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century.
Ling - Ling is Chinese and we don’t know much about her. Her gentle nature is often steamrolled by her dominant husband and mother-in-law. Her softness hides a steel core and profound wisdom. She has one child, a boy.The name Ling is interesting because it can apply to men or women, but it has different meanings. The female meaning is “sound of a bell” and the male meaning is “new dawn.” It can also mean “small and exquisite” or “compassionate and understanding.”