Candy In Search Of Respect Character Analysis

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‘But you know- I’ve been through a trauma life- but you know, life goes on.’ (Bourgois, 2003, p221)

Throughout this essay I will explore the character of Candy in the light of a victim, a criminal and a respected character. I believe Candy is an excellent representation of gender in El Barrio which Bourgois has shown us in his book ‘In Search of Respect.’
I hope to highlight how Candy has redrawn the gender lines for women and has achieved the impossible, whether in a right or wrong way. I also hope to highlight the men’s attitude towards women when it comes to domestic violence. I will then evaluate how society has played a part in Candy’s criminal life as well as how she gained respect and power from her horrific act. Lastly I will question to what extent candy has redrawn these gender lines through her relationship with a respected male character, Ray.

Candy as a Victim:
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She seemed to have no problem with her husband beating her but when she heard he slept with her sister that was infuriating, leading her to take a gun and shoot him in the stomach. How can this woman raise a gun to her husband for cheating on her but wouldn’t take action when he was beating her at home and causing her to be in a dangerous environment with her children?
‘I used to take all my husband’s shit. I even used to support my husband, but I woke up and smelled the coffee, as they say. And I put a bullet in my man.’ (Bourgois, 1003, p213) What shocked me the most about the situation was that Candy’s shooting of Felix wasn’t a rebellion against patriarchy but was an attack of her nerves which is accepted in this particular society. Her nerves were an excuse to almost kill her husband. How can Candy believe she has done something wrong when the society around her makes these excuses for
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