The Devil In A Blue And Native Speaker: Character Analysis

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Self-identity is a struggle many minorities must face within American society. Despite how much people do not wish to be labeled, society has to categorize people into specific boxes. Within two novels The Devil in a Blue and Native Speaker many characters who can be considered minorities struggle with their own identities, especially when it comes to achieving their goals. In American culture, in order to become successful many minorities are faced with a difficult decision. Should they continue to strive towards the American Dream at the expense of who they are or to choose to let go of that dream. Another set of individuals who struggle with that choice are women. Historically, they could not achieve success on their own and had to rely…show more content…
It was socially acceptable to treat someone differently due to their race and gender, segregation was still an idea that was enforced by the law. Easy, the main character of the novel Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely, happens to be black and faces racism in every aspect of his life. “I always tried to speak proper English in my life, the kind of English they taught in school, but I found over the year that I could only truly express myself in my natural “uneducated” dialect of my upbringing (54).” Easy is one of the few exceptions of educated Blacks. Before then, Blacks had little to no education. Easy proves that he is not only aware of how he will be perceived differently by speaking a different way, but that he can force himself to fit in better if he speaks academically. This is his central conundrum: he could fit in better with society if he keeps his façade at the expense of his home language. The language of his upbringing provides him with enough comfort that he can be himself without censoring his thoughts. Furthermore, one of the motives for the novel’s plot progression is that Easy needs money to pay his house. For many individuals, having a home is a sure sign of achieving the American Dream, so Easy does whatever is in his power to pay for his house. He takes on dangerous jobs, but he does it because he “never owned anything until [he] bought that house, but [he loved [his] little home…show more content…
Ruby Green, a woman that Easy has to find in The Devil in a Blue Dress demonstrates how women are often upheld to abide by different rules. Ruby, or Daphne, as she is known throughout most of the novel struggles to fit in a world where only men are able to successful and are in control of their fates. She has to rely on Easy, her brother Frank and Carter to get around physically and financially. In some instances, however, she differs from the traditional role given to women. Instead of being kind and doing whatever it takes to keep men happy, she is described as “the devil” and having “evil in every pocket (192).” The reason for it is because she does not act like a woman from her era, she is difficult and, in some cases, unpleasant to be around, traits not usually associated with women of the 1950s. Within the novel she steals thirty thousand dollars, manipulates and even kills. She is depicted as being “death herself (252)” because of how easily she breaks out of the mold that is pictured when thinking of women in the 1950s. Despite how much she seems to cross that line, she is also very feminine and alluring. Easy describes her flaws, such as eyes that are too close together as endearing and adding to her façade of a vulnerable damsel in distress. Her looks are what attracts people into wanting to help her, Easy stating that “I wanted to put my arms around her- to protect her (135).” Daphne Monet was
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