Her mother is a product of hatred and ignorance. The Breedlove's all are confronted by prejudice on a daily basis, both classism and racism, and for the first time, the white standard of beauty. Growing up in this environment, Pecola is vulnerable in every way and becomes the victim of discrimination by both white and black people in her community. Inherited from her mother the feelings of rejection, Pecola is a vulnerable girl. The novel indicates that her mother, from the early part of her life, felt a sense of separateness and unworthiness and that she "never felt at home anywhere, or that she belonged anyplace" (111).
Celie is a poor, Southern black girl. Celie is one of the most oppressed, silenced members of society. Her stepfather told her that she "better not never tell anybody but God. It'd kill your mammy" (Walker 1). This quote takes on a new significance.
This can also be read as conscious attempt on Walker’s part to suggest that the plight of Celie is the plight of most black women of her age, hence the deliberate omission. The novel opens with the silencing of the girl child, “You better tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy” (Walker 8), so that what emerges is the figure of the obedient slave, “the mule of the world…carrying the burden that everyone else refused to carry”(Walker, “In Search Of” 237), who assumes the gender role thrust upon her by a society which seems to sanction abuse. The letters in the first half of the novel, though addressed to God are more of a dialogue with the self. They are open, honest and provide a black woman’s reality where notions of race and sex intersect as oppressive forces in a predominantly patriarchal set up.
Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl No one in today’s society can even come close to the heartache, torment, anguish, and complete misery suffered by women in slavery. Many women endured this agony their entire lives, there only joy being there children and families, who were torn away from them and sold, never to be seen or heard from again. Thesis In the book, Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl, Linda Brent tells a spectacular story of her twenty years spent in slavery with her master Dr. Flint, and her jealous Mistress. She speaks of her trials and triumphs as well as the harms done to other slaves. She takes you on the inside of slavery and shows you the Hell on Earth slavery really was.
Alice Walker's The Color Purple is a good example of colored women's plight. Three obstacles black women had to overcome to be able to express themselves were Racism, the lack of education, and the stereo-type that women are inferior. Sophia is Harpo's wife and a very strong character. She does not let anyone beat her or slap her. After the mayor of the town slaps her she attacks him and is sent to jail.
Womanist ideals are based off the linkage of racism and sexism. Walker uses this link to help build up every aspect of oppression Celie faces. An example of this is when she links sexism and racism by having Nettie write to Celie about the Olinka people not educating females “like the white people at home” (Ogunyemi 70). She is showing how black women are not educated not only because of their race, but also because of their sex. Women of color face these unique issues because of the link, so problems never get fully solved (Hutchison 185).
Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl A recurring theme in, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is Harriet Jacobs's reflections on what slavery meant to her as well as all women in bondage. Continuously, Jacobs expresses her deep hatred of slavery, and all of its implications. She dreads such an institution so much that she sometimes regards death as a better alternative than a life in bondage. For Harriet, slavery was different than many African Americans. She did not spend her life harvesting cotton on a large plantation.
Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig illustrates the events of a young mulatto girl named Frado growing up as a servant in the North with Bellmont family during the time of slavery. Frado is abandoned by her mother, Mag Smith, at the estimated age of five. Immediately entering the house Frado is put to work. Despite being a simple and compliant servant, Frado is abused daily by Mrs. Bellmont. Prior to being abandoned, Frado’s mother, Mag, described Mrs. Bellmont as a “she-devil,” and commented that she could not keep servants due to her pretentious and difficult nature.
Moreover, slave women are treated like chattels. The black women in Browning and Jacobs’ works are oppressed sexually, forced into unwanted motherhoods, and stripped of their identities. Yet, because they face these cruelties with courage and dignity, these black slaves emerge as heroines of their own fates. According to her white owners, a black woman in bondage not only has no rights to love, but is incapable of loving. In Browning’s “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point”, the black narrator speaks of her love affair with a black man, but she is brief in its description because it is a forbidden act.
As a tempted and fallen woman, Mag is despised from her own family, community and becomes an outcast of the society, a fallen woman. Losing her position in the society and having no money to support herself, she decides to merry a black man who feels sympathy towards her and wants to make her future better. It seems that Mag has no other choice to survive but to merry a black guy despite the “evil amalgamation” (13). White community sees such act as another fall of her dignity and completely turns out from them. Mag and Jim have two children, “pretty mulatos,” and one of the children is Frado (14).