Different Worlds of Black Girl Lost and Baby of the Family

Different Worlds of Black Girl Lost and Baby of the Family

Length: 1798 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Different Worlds of Black Girl Lost and Baby of the Family  


   Although, African Americans are considered minorities in the United States, not all of them live in poverty. Many African Americans live in a middle class society along with the dominant culture. However, many African Americans do not live in a middle class society, but rather live in poverty and have to suffer along with this poverty. For instance, Donald Goines’s Black Girl Lost and Tina McElroy Ansa’s Baby of the Family, two narrative novels, that illustrate the difference in two young African American girls lives and the society in which they inhabit. Not only do these young African American girls represent the two sides of poverty, they also represent how children can also qualify in the minority category. For example, Sandra lives in a run down apartment with a drunk mother who could care less about her daughter. In addition, Sandra remains all on her own and has to find ways in which to survive each day. But on the other hand, Lena lives in a nice size home with her two parents, her two brothers, and her grandmother, all who love her very much. Moreover, Lena has many family members who look after her and take extra special care for her because she is the baby of the family. Although, both Sandra and Lena lead very different lives, both are faced with challenges as a minority and as a child which questions their view on life.

The home in which a child lives in is suppose to be a place of warmth, love, and protection. A home also offers other important aspects into a child’s life, for instance, self-confidence, pride, and security. If a child does not reside in a home that offers warmth, love, and protection, that child will not feel good about herself or the home in which she lives in. A child wants a home that he or she can be proud of enough to bring home a friend or two. In addition, if a child does not feel safe and secure in his or her home, then she will not posses these qualities in the outside world. Moreover, their lack of security can cause major disruptions and distractions within their everyday routine, like with Sandra. For example, the homes that Lena and Sandra live in illustrate the exact opposite of each other.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Different Worlds of Black Girl Lost and Baby of the Family." 123HelpMe.com. 11 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=4655>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing Language in Baby of the Family and Black Girl Lost Essays

- Function of Language in Baby of the Family and Black Girl Lost      African American literature is a genre that has, in recent years, grown almost exponentially. African American novels such as Tina McElroy Ansa's Baby of the Family and Donald Goines' Black Girl Lost are increasingly becoming more popular with the public. Baby of the Family is a wonderfully written "coming of age novel" ("Reviews 2") about a young girl named Lena McPherson as she grows up and must learn to deal with her extraordinary powers....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
2542 words (7.3 pages)

Science Versus Religion in H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds Essay

- Martians are trying to take over the world. We humans cannot defeat them. Even with our superlative weapons we are not managing to defeat the Martians. At the ends of the novel little tiny microorganisms are managing to defeat these Martians. The key themes and ideas are Industrialization, Imperialism and science vs. Religion. Industrialization means using off weapons or machines. This is shown in the Novel by H.G. Wells that the Martians are killing the human race by using off their machines and weapons....   [tags: War of the Worlds]

Research Papers
1826 words (5.2 pages)

Is The Worlds Wife is Feminist Propaganda? Essay

- I do not agree that the collection, The Worlds Wife, is “nothing but feminist propaganda”. I must agree that there are a lot of poems within the collection that are feminist in some way or another but there are also others that don’t really show a feeling of feminist propaganda at all. ‘Propaganda’ means “Information given to show something or someone in a biased way” and ‘Feminist’ means “Women are better than men and so can do everything better than they can” and therefore ‘Feminist Propaganda’ means “the spread of information about how women are greater than men”....   [tags: The Worlds Wife Essays]

Research Papers
1473 words (4.2 pages)

Dr. Mae Mobley 's Innocence Of A Child Essay

- In 1962 racism was a big issue and African-Americans were treated tremendously and dehumanized. Mae Mobley’s innocence of a child helped her to look beyond the atrocious actions of her culture and create a special bond with her caregiver, Aibileen. The relationship between Mae Mobley and Aibileen was strong in the sense that Mae Mobley saw past the depths of Aibileen’s skin colour and saw Aibileen as she saw herself. Living in what seemed like two different worlds their love for each other was truly powerful and unbreakable....   [tags: Black people, White people, Race]

Research Papers
826 words (2.4 pages)

Comparing Social Class in Baby of the Family and Black Girl Lost Essay

- Social Class in Baby of the Family and Black Girl Lost         Socioeconomic indicators such as education, income, and occupation are measures of social class (Social World). The novels Baby of the Family (Ansa, 1989), and Black Girl Lost (Goines, 1973) are examined to determine the intricate role one's environment plays in dictating the type of life one leads. "The class you are born into and raised in, class is your understanding of the world and where you fit in. It's composed of ideas, behavior, attitudes, values, and language ....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Research Papers
1777 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Gary Soto and Cathy Song's Black Hair and Lost Sister

- Gary Soto and Cathy Song's Black Hair and Lost Sister Gary Soto and Cathy Song, the authors of Black Hair and Lost Sister, have had to come to terms with their culture. Living in America, it’s hard to think outside the box because of stereotypes and pre-dispositions. In order to find you’re self and come to terms with who you are as a person apposed to what the rest of the world may view you as, you have to approach the stereotypes head on and grow from them. Both of the speakers in Black Hair and Lost Sister has had to recognize the short comings of their culture to be accepted and grow in the American Culture....   [tags: Gary Soto Cathy Song Black Hair and Lost Sister]

Research Papers
908 words (2.6 pages)

Essay War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells

- War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells As the Martians fire their deadly heat rays, destroying towns and cities will anyone survive against the overwhelming odds. What were the Martians doing here. This could not have been a friendly visit, so what were their intentions. In H.G. Wells War of the Worlds the humans’ instinct to survive overcomes threats to their existence. When faced with the unknown the human instinct for survival gives us only two options, fight or flight. When the unknown plumes of fire were first spotted shooting from Mars it attracted many scientists, and it was also the same year that Mars was close enough to Earth to allow scientists to observe it with telescopes from that e...   [tags: War Worlds Wells Survival Essays]

Research Papers
1198 words (3.4 pages)

Stereotypical Black Women Essay

- When I lived in Atlanta approximately 1 year ago, growing up as a child I would hear the term black queen. To my understanding a black women and a black queen are one in the same, but growing up the two words became different meanings. People began to change and no longer were they practicing their queen ways. People were now becoming ignorant and began following the crowd instead of being themselves, setting them apart as just black women. Black women have been around for several centuries and in that time we were vigorously known as black queens all over the world such as in, Africa....   [tags: black queen, baby mama, ratchet]

Research Papers
1052 words (3 pages)

Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby Essay

- Desiree's Baby is a short story written by Kate Chopin. It is set in 19th century Louisiana. The story starts with Madame Valmonde going to visit Desiree and her baby. She thinks back on her memories of Desiree as a baby: "It made her laugh to think of Desiree with a baby. Why it seemed but yesterday that Desiree was little more than a baby herself." This quote tells us two things. The first is that Madame Valmonde must have known Desiree as a child and is either a close family friend of even a member of the family herself....   [tags: Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin]

Free Essays
1756 words (5 pages)

Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby Essay

- Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby This essay will focus on the short story by Kate Chopin and its use of symbols, setting and characters. Desiree’s baby was perhaps one of the best stories I’ve ever read. Analyzing it was not easy at all. Its use of symbols was very hard to comprehend. At first, it doesn’t make sense. But as you think critically, all the symbols, and setting and the characters in this literature plunge together in one amazing story....   [tags: Kate Chopin Desiree's Baby]

Research Papers
1392 words (4 pages)

Related Searches

Goines describes Sandra’s home by stating that "[t]he house was a small frame building with the dingy gray paint peeling" (8). He uses very few words to describe a house with very few aspects or qualities. However, Ansa takes her time to describe the atmosphere in which Lena lives. For instance, Ansa imparts Lena’s grandmother’s room with an "old four-poster bed, there was a big overstuffed easy chair pulled up to one of the room’s windows and, next to it, a small pine piecrust table and a maroon-shaded floor lamp with gold fringe" (35). More than likely none of these color elucidated pieces of furniture could be found in the house of Sandra, only empty beer bottles and over-flowing trash cans. In addition Ansa describes the McPhersons’ home when she states:

Lena’s house was bigger than was needed for a family of six. There were rooms that they didn’t even use regularly and rooms that she never saw in other people’s houses. Besides a living room, dining room, kitchen, and six bedrooms, there was a breakfast room, a music room, a sewing room, and a walk-in pantry. There was a long, narrow linen closet big enough to play in, . . . And some of the hallways were as big as rooms. (62)

The home Lena lives in is probably a home that Sandra has never even stepped foot inside. In addition, Lena only knows the big house she lives in and Sandra only knows the small dirty house she lives in. Because of the diverse atmospheres Lena and Sandra live in, their lives remain quite different. For instance, Sandra, coming from a dirty, cold, unkept, and unsafe house, she endures a life of stealing, drug-dealing, and other hardships. However, Lena coming from a warm, safe, and loving home that offers genuine protection, leads Lena to a life of good judgments with a prosperous future, all of which none become offered to Sandra.

Another factor that contributes to the two African American girls’ different societies in which they live in is the amount of clothing and food they have at their advantage. Because Sandra and Lena come from unsimilar societies, the access to clothing and food corresponds to the atmosphere they experience every day. For instance, Sandra frequently missed school because the other "children had started to call her Raggedy Ann, a nickname she would have rather done without" (Goines 24). Moreover, Sandra could not afford decent enough clothing to give her enough self-confidence to attend school on a regular basis. On the other hand, Lena never has to worry if she will have nice clothes to wear at school. Lena’s parents own their own business had make good money to provide for all three of their children, unlike Sandra’s drunken mother who could care less if Sandra even went to school. The amount of food or lack of food contributed to how each of the two African American girls viewed the societies in which they live in. While Lena always had a good full course meal three times a day, Sandra had a "problem – her daily search for food. She was constantly hungry, because seldom did she get enough to really fill her up" (Goines 19). Moreover, Sandra has to constantly look out for herself and really only thinks ahead to the next meal. However, Lena can look ahead and decide what she would like to eat days in advance. In addition, Sandra has lived her entire life in poverty and knows of no other way of life. All Sandra knows is how to be hungry and feel those hunger pains attacking her stomach like a lion attacking its prey.

On a similar basis, Lena has only known of the society in which she lives in and has never had to experience or know of hunger. The only time Lena experiences poverty is when she meets her friend, Sarah. Lena’s first encounter with Sarah occurred and Lena noticed the difference in their clothing. For instance,

Lena’s dress, made with love and care by her grandmother . . . [while] [t]he dress the little girl across the street wore was not only stained down the front and soiled in the back where she had sat down in the dirt, but it was also torn at the waist and ripped under the left arm. (Ansa 71-2)

Because of Sarah, Lena becomes introduced into the world of poverty without having to actually live in poverty like Sandra. Because Sandra lives in poverty without adequate food and clothing and Lena does not live in poverty, they are two completely different girls. Even though both Sandra and Lena are African

American, they experience life on opposite sides of the track.

Having a family or lack of family can also contribute to how a young girl views the world. For example, Lena has quite a prosperous family, while Sandra’s is almost nonexistent. Lena has both her parents, two brothers, and her grandmother, all who live in the same home with Lena. However, Sandra gets to come home to a drunken mother who remains consistent about bringing her boyfriends home along with her to venture up to her bedroom while Sandra is in the house. Lena could always depend on her family members to be there for her whenever she gets into any trouble. But on the other hand, no one was there for Sandra when she found the drugs which started her onto a path which leads her to trouble.

Because of the various backgrounds of both Lena and Sandra, Lena would not have to find a job, while Sandra has to find a job in order to maintain food and clothing. Sammy offers a simple job to Sandra in the general store he owns with his wife so Sandra could buy food and stay out of trouble. But because Lena’s family owns their own business, Lena does not have to worry about having enough money for food, shelter, or clothing like Sandra does. Furthermore, Lena is more likely to take for granted her money and home, while Sandra lives from day to day making sure she survives until the next day.

One similar aspect of the two African American girls lives is the amount of friends that each of them has. For instance, Sandra never really had any friends to speak of until she met Chink. Chink offered many wonderful things to Sandra that she had been longing for. He gave her love, affection, protection, and friendship. Sandra needed to be loved and needed by someone since she was only dealt hardship and coldness from her mother. Like Sandra, Lena has very few friends also. Lena meets Sarah and has a brief friendship with her until Sarah moves too far away for them to maintain their friendship. In addition, Lena’s family is probably her only friends. Similarly, both girls remained sort of loners within their own little worlds with very few friends.

All of these different, yet important aspects of Lena’s and Sandra’s lives affected them in various ways. Because of the diverse backgrounds from which the girls came from, they lead dissimilar lives from each other. For instance, Lena being the baby of the family, leads her family to special care of her and watch out for her every move. However, Sandra has no one to look out for her until she meets Chink, and she has to care for herself. Sandra knows that the world is a harsh and cruel place to live in because she has experienced it first hand. On the other hand, Lena experiences with the world have been pretty great and as a result she sees the world as a great place to live. The numerous differences remains clearly seen in both of these novels which illustrates that anyone of any race can live in poverty or in a middle class society. In addition, race does not play a part in how rich or poor a person can become.

Works Cited

Afro-American Fiction Writers After 1955. Ed. Thadious M. Davis and Trudier Harris. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1984.

Bryant, Jerry H. Victims and Heros: Racial Violence in the African American Novel. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.

Callahan, John F. In the African-American Grain: The Pursuit of Voice in Twentieth Century Black Fiction. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

"Tina McElroy Ansa." Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Ed. William Andrews et al. 1997.
Return to 123HelpMe.com