Stories from In Love and Trouble, like other Alice Walker’s works, are
the portrayal of black women. I would interpret the term “black women”
as women who have gone through all sorts of hardship and struggles,
but not all women in the world or only those with black skin. I
strongly argue that Walker’s characters are better represented as
women who suffer the way African American women do, than as women with
black skin. I will justify my argument by referring to specific
examples from two short stories in the book, namely Roselily and
The characters in In Love and Trouble are not represented by all women
because not all women carry as many burdens as the characters in the
book. One group of women excluded is the white. As Clenora points out
African-American women suffer from “a tripartite form of oppression-
racism, classism, and sexism” (192). All black women in the book have
to bear the triple burden. Living in a white-dominant society, they
are oppressed by the white. Their race also leads to their poverty.
Being in a male-dominant society, they are abused by their husbands
who are themselves abused by the white. “These women [are] simply
defeated in one way or another by the external circumstances of their
lives” (Washington 89-90).
In Roselily, Roselily is also a victim of the triple burden. Although
there is no direct description of how she is oppressed by the white,
it is implied: “She can imagine God, a small black boy [my emphasis],
timidly pulling the preacher’s coattail” (4). In Roseliliy’s
imagination, God has black skin, which is a sharp contrast to the
traditional white God image in the Western world. The black God image
shows her ques...
... middle of paper ...
...tudies.” Phylon 49.1 (Spring-Summer 1992):
Christian, Barbara T. Introduction. Everyday Use. By Walker Alice. New
Jersey: Rutgers U, 1994. 3-17.
Clenora, Hudson Weems. “The Tripartite Plight of African-American
Women as Reflected in the Novels of Hurston and Walker.” Journal of
Black Studies 20.2 (December 1989): 192-207.
Hui, Fung-mei, Sandra. “Race and Gender in the Works of Maxine Hong
Kingston, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison.” Diss. U of Hong Kong, 2004.
Walker Alice. In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women. Florida:
Washington, Mary Helen. “An Essay on Alice Walker.” Everyday Use. Ed.
Christian, Barbara T. New Jersey: Rutgers U, 1994. 85-103.
Weston, Ruth D. “Who Touches This Touches a Woman: The Naked Self in
Alice Walker.” Critical Essays on Alice Walker. Ed. Dieke, Ikenna.
London: Greenwood, 1999. 153-61.
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