The Story Behind the Scars, The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir Essay

The Story Behind the Scars, The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir Essay

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The Story Behind the Scars

“The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir” is a vivid recollection of Staceyann Chin's traumatic childhood as she discovers her voice and identity growing up in Jamaica beginning in 1972. At the age of four, Staceyann is already experiencing the oppressions related with being a girl. Delano, her older brother by two years, is the only male in the house as both of their fathers are out of the picture. Since they are both raised by their deaf and illiterate grandmother, Delano exercises his masculinity over Staceyann in numerous ways, even at the age of six. Wether it be the games and communication at home or learning in school; Delano is always prioritized over Staceyann. Although they both long for the return of their mother whom abandoned them after Staceyann was born, it is she who is affected in the long run. Bounced around to different families, Staceyann has issues with keeping her mouth shut, thus landing her in tons of trouble all the time. Every adult figure she has to deal with relies on The Bible for punishment reinforcement. “Stacey, the Good Book tell us, In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (pg 7, The Other Side of Paradise).” When every answer is in relation to The Bible, Staceyann is always left lost and confused. If God is responsible for everything, why is she left motherless in poverty? Her journey continues as she excels through grade school and into high school. Along the way she encounters a few relationships with boys, but is never fully able to trust them due to her being sexually assaulted numerous times as a child. As Staceyann meets her mother and visits with her father, she is forced at a young age to fend for herself. In a stru...

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Shaw, Susan M., and Janet Lee. Women's voices, feminist visions: classic and contemporary readings. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.
"Staceyann Chin." Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. .
"Staceyann Chin." The Huffington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. .
"Staceyann Chin > Quotes." Staceyann Chin Quotes (Author of The Other Side of Paradise). N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. .
"Tim Wise: On White Privilege (Clip)." YouTube. YouTube, 19 Feb. 2008. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. .
"Violence against women-it's a men's issue." Jackson Katz:. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. .

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