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Freeman’s “Louisa” features the parent-offspring conflict resulting from maternal interference with a daughter’s mate choice. Like all such conflict, it is grounded in the arithmetic of genetic relatedness and reflects the inescapable blending of altruism and selfishness characterizing familial relationships. Focusing on parental demands that offspring favor the interests of kin, even in mating decisions, the story explores the costs and benefits of nepotism. Freeman’s plot harnesses the literary force of poetic justice to expose self-interested biases in maternal advice and flaws in maternal judgment, thereby encouraging and validating a daughter’s resistance to parental influence.