Gender Roles In Sethe's Sweet Home

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As Sethe reflects on her escape from Sweet Home, she becomes proud that she escaped with her children intact. “I did it!” She proudly exclaimed to Paul D. Sethe affirms that “I got us all out. Without Halle too” (Morrison 93). Contra to many enslaved people, Sethe has done the unthinkable by removing her entire family from slavery. Sethe’s resilience has allowed her to do something that her own mother could not do for Sethe. Sickels maintains that “Sethe’s escape from Sweet Home and the infant she has given birth to reveal her resistance to slavery’s attempt to control black motherhood” (Sickels 38). Sethe is a courageous figure that has given her family freedom without the help of her husband. Sethe explains, “Up till then it was the only thing I ever did on my own” (Morrison 93). In this defining moment, she feels empowered that she has succeeded in an oppressive society.…show more content…
In this instance, the reader acknowledges official break in gender roles from Sethe. She begins to acknowledge a reconstruction of herself with a deconstruction of gender roles. She recognizes that the feminine gender role of being submissive and passive did not give her freedom from slavery. Therefore, Sethe’s reconstruction of the self because of gender has influenced her need to make decisions for her children. In Supernatural Forces: Belief, Difference, and Power in Contemporary Work, Bonnie C. Winsbrow explains the importance of self with regards to Sethe’s construction of her identity. She
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