Intergenerational Racism Character Analysis

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Moreover, Jimmy Caya’s rigid and destructive belief system originate from intergenerational racism. Intergenerational racism provides a limited scope for Jimmy to understand how the relationship between Mary Agnes and Tee Bob operates. The development of Jimmy’s belief system becomes noticeable when he emphasizes the fact that “[he] didn’t tell [Tee Bob] no more than what [his] daddy told [him]... What Mr. Paul told Mr. Robert. What Mr. Paul’s daddy told him. What [Raynard’s] daddy told [him]. No more than the rules [they have] been living by ever since [they] been here” (201). In the novel, family becomes a site of socialization, in which understandings of racism become intergenerational. Intergenerational racism speaks to the larger institution…show more content…
Perry’s article “‘Race’: Fact or Artifact?”, racism persists if it has to do with advantage, as it becomes associated with those who practice racism (Perry 17). Racism becomes a state of mind that provides advantages to the powerful (Perry 17). In relation to the novel, Tee Bob cannot marry Mary Agnes because it goes against the historical practices of slavery and the relationships formed between white males and black females. It becomes an unspoken rule, that Tee Bob cannot break a Southern white male code. The historical legacy of slavery preserves Tee Bob’s privileges, which illustrates how whiteness dominates Mary Agnes in terms of race and gender. Tee Bob could exert sexual control over Mary Agnes as permitted by his cultural expectations. However, despite Tee Bob’s resistance to these cultural expectations, he is expected to uphold this advantage. Historically, it grants white men power. Power becomes central when Jimmy Caya cannot dismantle his belief that Mary’s sole purpose is to serve the sexual pleasure of Tee…show more content…
The phrases he uses in his narrative such as “the past and the present got all mixed up” (205), represents the alteration between Mary Agnes and Tee Bob as a representation of both Mary and Tee Bob’s pasts. Mary’s grandmother as the coloured lady who was chosen by the Creole gentlemen, and Tee Bob’s father with the black women, named Verda; these relationships represent the historical practice of white males using black females for sexual pleasure. When Raynard suggests the phrase “making up for the past left (205)” he implies upon the legacy that Mary came to the plantation to dismantle becomes insignificant in the present moment. Mary becomes a reflection of the past and becomes reduced to as a sexual object for Tee Bob’s pleasure in Raynard’s perspective. Sabine Broeck’s article “The Narrative Absence of Interiority in Black Writing: Suffering Female Bodies in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” states that Mary Agnes gave Tee Bob “an inviting look of female helplessness and sexual availability (Broeck 93). This argument is further supported by Raynard’s description of how a look appeared on Mary Agnes’s face. Her look showed in the way she positioned herself on the floor. The look and positioning of her body is suggestive of being sexual in nature in which she invites Tee

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