Inspired Eccentricity

Inspired Eccentricity

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“Inspired Eccentricity” is a story of Bell Hooks about her grandparents, Daddy and Baba Gus. The two main characters are described with many contrasts. They are opposite in many ways: physical looks, characters, and even their effects on Hooks. Their marriage seems to be a strange combination, but very few people understand that Daddy and Baba Gus are not only different but also complementary each other.
In the beginning of the essay, Daddy and Baba Gus are described oppositely in physical looks. Daddy Gus is a “short and dark”(421), while Baba Gus is tall and white, which is enough to help her “easily “passed” denying all traces of blackness”(421). Their walking styles are also different. Daddy walks “slow, as though carrying a great weight” (421), but Baba moves “swiftly, as though there was never time to waste” (421). Daddy Gus is a man of silence, he always “sit calmly in his chair by the stove, as calm and still as the Buddha sits” (421). Opposing to Daddy Gus, Baba is described as “talked endlessly” (421), and she usually preaches, yells, and fusses. They contrast each other in almost every thing, also in not sleeping on the same bed because Baba can not stand her husband’s nasty smell. Two people that seem to be made not to each other have been together more than seventy years, most of human life. Somebody wonders that their marriage began from love or not, but they overcame all the contrasts, create a big family, and also have many grandchildren.
In addition to Hooks, Daddy and Baba Gus are not only different in physical looks, but they also contrast in their characters. Daddy Gus is a calm and religious man. He has strong belief in God and serves as “right-hand men of God” (422). He is the person whom people feel sorry for because he is controlled by his wife. And although he is thought not to be a “real man” (422) by his son, but he always refuses to fight back. People respect and “admired his calmness” (422), and Hooks is strongly effected by her grandfather who is “not gonna let anybody tell him what to do with his life” (422). In the other hand, Baba Gus is a blasphemer, and she usually curses. She never goes to church, she also does not believe in God, and people think that she will be a bad example for children.

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Even though she can not read or write, she is an expert in using strong words and powerful metaphors in her daily speech like Hooks says: “There was no bad word she was not willing to say” (422). While Daddy Gus has many characters as an exemplary man: calm, gentle, and religionous, Baba is described as a strong, rude and vulgar woman. Their marriage is not a combination between different people, but they are totally opposite from physical looks to characters.
Thirdly, Daddy and Baba Gus both strongly affect Hooks’ spirit by their own way. Daddy is a man of love and warm. His room is a collection of found things that he picks up after he goes around town and does “odd jobs”. All of them are his priceless treasure that he is always ready to give them to his children. He gives Hooks “my first wallet, my first teeny little book to write in, my first beautiful pen” (422), and he are the person who inspires her to start her writing career. Daddy loves to hug his children when they came to visit him with his opened arms and heart, and Hooks always feels the peace and his “unconditional love” (422) for them. If Hooks can feel love when she is with her grandfather, individualism is things which she can feel in Baba Gus. Baba loves to make quilts, she is a person who can make her own wine, butter, and soap, or raise chickens, or grow plants. She believes that women have to be strong as men because women are “able to do anything that a man could do and better” (424). She tells Hooks a lot of stories and teaches her acting in as a woman of power without any fear. Hooks also learns that Baba’s treasure is only home and family, and the others things will “violated her spirit” (424). Hooks has different impressions from her grandfather and grandmother, but they are her spiritual supports which helps her to go through pain and anxiety childhood.
At the end of the story, after Daddy Gus passes away, Baba becomes silent, empty, and lonely. People realize that Daddy and Baba are not opposite, they are “complemented and completed each other” (245). Daddy is the parts that Baba misses, and Baba also completes Daddy. They have lived more than seventy years together with many arguments, but they never brake up because they know that they appreciates their “companion” and “choicest friend”(425).

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