Maya Rape Analysis

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The first example of the emotional effect rape has on a person is Maya’s relationship with herself. Throughout the novel Maya struggled with finding her identity and feeling displaced and insecure. While some of this was caused by a lack of parental love or by a culture that praised white beauty, a majority of it is caused by her rape. After Maya was raped, she was suddenly both a woman and a child, yet she felt like neither. She didn’t know where she belonged because she had experienced a very mature moment at such a young age. In one instance when she had to use the restroom, she said “Signs with arrows around the barbecue pit pointed MEN, WOMEN, and CHILDREN toward fading lanes, grown over since last year… so when the urge hit me to relieve …show more content…

When living with her father in the summer, Maya got into an argument with her father’s girlfriend Dolores. After Dolores called Maya’s mother a “whore”, the argument turned physical and Dolores stabbed Maya with scissors. Not wanting to cause any more trouble she decided to run away, but was afraid to call her mother. Maya explained “I could go home to Mother, but I couldn’t. I could never succeed in shielding the gash in my side from her” (pg. 252). Maya did not trust that her father or mother could take care of her. Following the rape, Maya lost her faith in people and had a hard time relying on them. At a time when she needed her family the most she was alone. She did not feel safe around the people who were supposed to protect her. In Stamps, when Momma made Maya take off her dress to show Mrs. Flowers the seams, Maya felt anxious and tense. She said “I wouldn’t look at either of them. Momma hadn’t thought that taking off my dress in front of Mrs. Flowers would kill me stone dead”. Even though Maya was not with anyone threatening she still felt nervous. No matter how old she got, whether she was 8 years old or 16 years old, the feeling of uneasiness stayed with her the rest of her life. Mr. Freeman took advantage of Maya’s innocence and stole her ability to be trusting of

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