Download e-book for kindle: Motherlove in Shades of Black: The Maternal Psyche in the by Gloria Thomas Pillow

By Gloria Thomas Pillow

This booklet heavily examines the mummy determine in six works through African American ladies at a variety of occasions in American heritage: Harriet Jacobs's Incidents within the lifetime of a Slave woman, Pauline Hopkins's Contending Forces, Nella Larsen's Passing, Gwendolyn Brooks's Maud Martha, Alice Walker's the colour crimson, and Toni Morrison's loved. It experiences how the mum in each one novel negotiates the ragged, antagonistic panorama of a prohibitive setting to like, defend, and lift her youngsters. Delving a ways deeper than floor motives, it really is knowledgeable through mental research to bare the forces that create the original tensions of the African American mother's lifestyles, her encouraged suggestions for survival, and the nature of the nurturing she provides her young children.

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Extra resources for Motherlove in Shades of Black: The Maternal Psyche in the Novels of African American Women

Sample text

This biological information, and the widespread practices of the time and of the culture, contribute powerfully to the probability that the grandmother, too, had suffered that hidden, devastating, “usual” fate of slave girls in her own youth. Brent’s unfortunate experience arguably forces the grandmother to relive memories she would much rather keep deeply buried. While the grandmother’s coping mechanisms protect her ego and self-esteem, they seriously undermine those of her granddaughter and do serious damage to the young girl’s already traumatized psyche.

Grandmother] exclaimed, “My carelessness has ruined you. The boat ain’t gone yet. Get ready immediately, and go” [471]. In fact, the grandmother is “thinking of ” Brent: escape from slavery cannot be accomplished until Brent leaves her hiding-place. Operative words such as “nervous,” “excited,” “forgotten,” “without thinking,” and “careless” imply that a deliberate act is taking place in the guise of a blunder. Exposing Brent’s hiding-place is hardly believable behavior from a woman who has so conscientiously guarded Brent all those years.

Sparse as it is, this retelling captures two themes that resonate through African American literature: the inescapable weight of the past upon the present, and the necessary self-knowledge and grounding that storytelling and history — especially, personal and family history — provide. A widow, Mrs. Smith lives an active and apparently fulfilling life based upon family and community. Affectionately called “Ma” Smith by most because of her warm and nurturing nature, she is active in church and women’s groups.

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