The Good Negress Analysis

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A.J. Verdelle’s The Good Negress written by the story surrounds the protagonist Denise Palms as she grows and develops into a young, intellectually bright, African-American woman. A protagonist is a primary character in any form of literature work per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. While an antagonist is one that contends with or opposes another. Now the antagonist in a piece of literature is usually depicted as malice and wicked, however, they do not have to be villainous. The antagonist can just obtain a different viewpoint when compared to the protagonist. Throughout the book, Denise overcomes the obstacles of growing up and maturing regardless of her young age. Along with dealing with the circumstances and situations life has given to…show more content…
Margaret is narrow-minded, thinking that she should only bring in money to the house, being a slave, not thinking for herself. Ms. Pearson also makes this observation known in the book, “Your mother is very short sighted about your future; I have told you that before” (Verdelle 210). Margarete’s idea of success for Denise includes education, but educational advancement is not why she wants Denise back in the household. Margarete became “a victim to social restriction that prohibits any forward movement for African-Americans” (Day 420). From her perspective, Denise is there to help with Margarete’s baby in the belly (Verdelle 85). After Margaret asked Denise if she had asked Ms. Pearson to stop by, she told Denise to cook the chicken in a very explosive manner (Verdelle 167). Denise had realized that she would not be doing much of anything but cooking chicken because since she was responsible for taking care of Margaret’s baby (Verdelle 168). Margarete only sees Denise as help when it comes to taking care of the baby and being her “good little negress” around the house (Verdelle 209). She neglects to see the potential in Denise to live a better life while Ms. Pearson has seen Denise’s potential and helps her to cultivate it. Denise dedicates herself to learning from the lessons Ms. Pearson’s while resisting Margarete (Verdelle 85). Margarete is the slave mistress and Denise is now the slave who obeys her mistress. Denise wants to be free and that is where Ms. Pearson comes in reveals two futures to Denise. A future where she is still in her mother’s house working or becoming a negro genius with a better life ahead. Denise then talks to her grandmother about going to college and the grandmother agrees with her (Verdelle
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