The novel opens with an opening letter where we discover that Celie the main character was savagely raped by her step father. Such a bold beginning lets us know that Celie 's life is anything but ordinary. The sanctity of the family unit so important to the American way of life is destroyed. The shocking details of rape as Celie writes are sad but a factual everyday occurrence. Celie understands that as a Black woman she is seen as worthless having a meaningless existence.
#4: Slavery, An Unjust Institution Having no other purpose other than entitlement to the cruel injustices, slavery proved to be a ruinous institution that tore thousands upon thousands of families apart. Or rather simply, “years have rolled on, and tens of thousands have been borne on streams of blood and tears, to the shores of eternity” (2156). Abolitionist writers such as David Walker and Henry Highland Garnet worked to defeat this corrupt institution, both through their own means of writing. While the writers may have had different methods of persuasion to goad the general slave public, they both aligned with very similar ideas concerning the hypocrisy and injustices of slavery as a whole.
Through indirect characterization, Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees, displays Rosaleen as an obstinate character in order to exhibit the southern racism at hand. For example, Rosaleen is indirectly characterized when she comes into contact with the town’s most notorious racist, Franklin Posey, and will not apologize for standing up for her beliefs. Recalling the event, she exclaims, “‘he hit me till the policeman said that was enough. They didn’t get no apology, though’” (46).
Considered to be Lope’s finest tragedy, El castigo sin venganza tells the story of the beautiful Casandra. Recently married to the Duke of Ferrara, who mistreats, ignores, and insults her by pursuing other women. After the Duke receives a command from the Pope that he must go to Rome, he leaves his illegitimate son Federico in charge of the dukedom. Casandra and Fredrico fall passionately in love, an incestuous and adulterous affair develops. When the Duke learns of it, he contrives a cunning plan to have them both killed under false pretenses, enacting a punishment without public knowledge of his revenge.
Throughout the novel, Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson the protagonist, Isabel, must face the brutal inequalities and inhumane treatment of a slave during the Revolutionary war in 1777 in New York. Everyday Isabel must face the wrath of her monstrous master, Madame Anne Lockton. On one occasion she changes Isabel’s name to Sal because it was “more suitable” (55). The woman completely stripped Isabel of her own identity, and this small action shows how much power a master had over their slave, who could not speak back without fear of punishment. Another form of punishment was locking Isabel in a potato bin, “That was more than half filled with potatoes and smelled of damp earth and worms.
Summary: Day of Tears, a historical fiction novel, was written by Julius Bernard Lester. This award winning novel tells the story about Emma - a slave of a horrible gambler, Pierce Butler, and caretaker of his two daughters. She teaches his daughters, one who opposes and one who supports slavery, to be open minded and have a good soul. During this, Pierce is in terrible gambling debt and decides to sell his slaves in the largest slave auction in America, including the protagonist Emma. On this day, the rain falls hard as if the sky was sobbing on the auction below.
Como agua para chocolate is about Tita De la Garza, the youngest daughter in the family, who is forbidden to marry the love of her life Pedro. Her mother, Mama Elena, is a strict, abusive and psychopath whose main goal in life is to keep Tita as a slave and forced her older sister, Rosaura to wed Pedro instead. To make the situation worse, her other sister, Gertrudis, is kidnapped by a general in the revolutionary army and ends up working in a brothel. Additionally, her mother figure, and culinary guru, Nacha, passes away. After Nacha dies, she keeps her close by cooking and continuing on the family recipes.
(31) Nanny believes that the black female is as hapless as a mule when it comes to subjugation. This is demonstrated by Janie’s forced marriage to Logan Killicks, a middle-aged farmer. Janie thinks she has no choice but to marry him, much like a mule has no choice about who its owner is. She is then forced to work like a mule by Logan, who desires a partner in the field.
In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood portrays a dystopian society which forces women into reproductive slavery to warn of the dangers of a Christian fundamentalist patriarchal government. These women, handmaids, have no rights and are raped by their owners, otherwise known as Commanders, every month in hopes of elevating the depleting birth rates. Offred, the main character and handmaid, only wants two things: her freedom and her daughter, but both were stolen from her. Women in Gilead, like Offred, are not seen as individuals, but resources with their most valuable asset lying between their legs. This demeaning viewpoint of women is horrifying in that it shares perspective with current misogynists and politicians.
In the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the main character, Edna Pontellier, makes the decision to become a completely independent by straying away from the restraints placed onto her by her husband, children and society. In the end of the novel, the audience is left to determine why Edna decides to commit suicide. The predominant reason Chopin reveals throughout the novel is the idea that suicide is a way for Edna to escape the confined life she was living and truly become the free woman she is dreaming of becoming. Since Edna lived during a time during women were oppressed in every way possible, Edna’s search for freedom is limited.
While working on her duties, Isabel befriends Curzon, another slave who works for a Patriot Law Officer Mr Bellingham. Curzon tells Isabel of an opportunity to work as a spy to overhear any information from the Locktons concerning the conflict occurring right now. Isabel initially refuses but once she sees Ruth emotionally damaged from the Locktons abuse she immediately realizes they need to escape their owners. Isabel
Andrade, Heather Russell. “Revising Critical Judgments of ‘The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.’” African American Review, vol. 40, no. 2, 2006, pp. 257–270. Accessed 11 Nov 2016
The essay Tongue-Tied by Maxine Kingston, is about her difficult experience growing up as a Chinese-American female. One of the biggest challenges she faced was learning to speak English to non-Chinese students, while struggling to oppose her Chinese. Her mother stopped her attempt to assimilate fully into American culture. Kingston tried to find a middle ground in which she can live within both the Chinese and the American cultures. While she was doing this, she created her own hybrid identity between the two cultures.
The 1930’s was the time period where race, class, and gender dominated the charts that dictated how much power an individual would have. White, rich men- Is that the definition of being powerful? In Harper Lee’s story, “To Kill a Mockingbird” Mayella Ewell is a young, white woman that accuses a black person of rape. She lives in a dumpy house with her dad and her siblings. She has no power in the community and her family is the definition of the lowest class.
I support both Richard Wright’s and Dubois’s perspectives. From my understanding, I saw both literature pieces describing the importance of African American self-expression in both art and propaganda. I believe the goal of both literature pieces were to explain the importance of expression in a society that hushed the African American and forced them to fill a stereotype that was mentally enslaving the creative minds of writers and artists. I personally support both of the author’s standpoints because neither Wright nor DuBois blamed any race in particular. Instead, the authors portrayed “a society in need of recalibration”, or in other words, everyone had to change.