The Role Of Black Women In Alice Walker's In Love And Trouble

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All these characters are in dark enclosures and narrow spaces. Some of them manage to move further awakened by a powerful political force. The idea of the black man taking out his frustration on the black woman because he dare not risk taking them out on a white person of either gender is not new. Hurston popularized the image of a black woman of an earlier time as "the mule of the world". The image is based on the assumption that the black woman has been the only human creature more helpless than a black man living in a white world. Seven of the thirteen women in Walker's short story collection In Love and Trouble (1973) are also part of the ‘suspended’ cycle in which the women are subjected to and often destroyed by oppression and violence.…show more content…
She portrays these troubled personalities as products of a dehumanizing culture, as victims of sexual and racial oppression. Though they vary greatly in the background, they are bound together by their vulnerability to life. Roselily, on her wedding day, surrounded by her children, prays that a loveless marriage will bring her respectability; Myrna, a young writer, exploited by both her lover and her husband, wreaks an ironic vengeance; a destitute, ignorant girl, unable to get a doctor for her sick child, is advised to try "strong horse tea"; a jealous wife, looking for her husband's mistress, finds a competitor she cannot fight; an old woman, thrown out of a white church, meets God on a highway. These are some of the seekers of dignity and love whom Alice Walker portrays in an enlightening, disturbing view of life in the South. The problem of marriage and the varying expectations of women are handled with intelligence and expert…show more content…
The story’s title character, whose name suggests the grafting on of a new identity, has found a means of escape from her life of labour and single parenthood in Panther Burn, Mississippi, by marrying a black Muslim from Chicago. While the minister reads traditional marriage vows, Roselily, the poor mother, dreams of a life such vows do not promise. In her dream, she sees herself, as a little girl in her mother's white robe and veil. The marriage is her chance to “be on top,” for her four children to be “at last from underneath the detrimental wheel”(m: 4). Yet the life she foresees in Chicago promises to be a nightmare; the marriage veil will merge with the veil (purdah) she will have to wear as the wife of a Muslim. When she hears the phrase “to join this man and this woman,” Roselily “thinks of ropes, chains, handcuffs, his religion. His place of worship. Where she will be required to sit apart with covered head” (LT:

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