Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place

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(Introduction): Throughout her novel, The Women of Brewster Place, Ms. Naylor emphasizes the importance of sister hood by showing how the women are strengthened by their relationships with one another and proving that men are not necessary to their survival or happiness.

Thesis: The strengthening of women through other women is illustrated by Mattie's role as a daughter to Miss Eva, a sister to Etta Mae, and a mother to Lucielia.

PARA 2: Miss Eva Turner plays a vital role in Mattie's life by taking her in during her loneliness and destitution and treating Mattie and Basil as if they are her own family.

PARA 3: The sisterhood between Mattie and Etta Mae is illustrated by each woman's willingness to help the other in through their most trying times.



Gloria Naylor's book, The Women of Brewster Place, focuses on seven black female residents of Brewster Place. As they cope with living in a racist and sexist society, they encounter further abuse from their own husbands, lovers, and children. Mattie Michael brings love and special attention to the lives of Ms. Eva, Etta Mae, and Luceilia. "She becomes the anchor for these women of Brewster Place" (Gottlieb p.1483). "Mattie Michael has lost her home to her much loved, but errant son, but becomes the backbone of this community of women"(Aull, 2). Each woman learned to grow stronger emotionally, to lean more towards sister hood, and to strive for self-improvement.

Mattie is a second mother figure to Lucielia. Mattie replaced Ms. Eva. Ever since Lucielia moved to Brewster Place, Mattie showed concern for her in a motherly fashion. Abandoned by her man in a time of suffering, Lucielia gains determination to survive her time of tribulation....

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...e in a several months Mattie is not alone and she has someone with whom she can share her life, her thoughts, and her struggles. Miss Eva too is pleased by the newfound companionship and together the women begin to reveal their lives to one another.

"In the abashed fashion of the old, Miss Eva unfolded her own life to Mattie, and without realizing she was being questioned, Mattie found herself talking about things that she had buried within in her. The young black women and the old yellow woman sat in the kitchen talking for hours, blending their lives so that what lay behind one and ahead of the other became indistinguishable" (34)

In the short time that the women spend together that night, they form a lasting bond that is superior that of any friendship.

In the time that follows Mattie grows to accept and love Miss Eva as a mother figure to her and her son.
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