I have chosen three stories of women growing up in relationship to thtime period in which they lived, their ethnicity,the customs of their countries and how they attempted to handle their life situations. Child f the Americas by Aurora Morales, gives us a view of a woman who is happy with herself and adjusts well to her life. The second is What It’s Like to be a Black Girl by Patricia Smith, a story of transition from childhood to adulthood for a young black girl having problems with both growing up and her place as a black woman in society.
The third Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer is the story of growing up in South Africa as a repressed young black woman. Child of the Americas by Aurora Morales, is tribute to her multiple identity. The word diasposa is the perfect description of her heritage. It means the scattering of a people from their ancestral home . She is a descendent of Latin American, Jewish, Aftican and North American heritage and she describes herself as saying she is none of these things outwardly, they are within her (Clugston).. This collage of nationalities forms the theme of this poem.
The tone of She clearly knows who she is and is proud of the fact that she is confident. The tone of this poem is upbeat and is developed in this upbeat manner. She is different and likes being different. She realizes her inherited background has a dark side, ghettoes I have never seen citation . Even her use of symbolism,” I speak English with passion: it's the tongue of my consciousness, a flashing knife blade of cristal, my tool, my craft. Shows pride in who she is. The setting of this story is important. She is a U. S. American who could have been born in any of the other countries of their heritage.
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This is a story of self discovery and it is obvious she likes what she sees. •What it is like to be a black girl in in fact the opposite of Child of the Americas. She is a young black girl, who discovers she is growing up. She talks about being nine and feeling like she al right and too add to this she had the problem of a racially prejudice society. She hopes for something better to come in her life She wishes to be whilte, putting food coloring in her eyes to try to change them and a white mophead on her head over her hair. She wanted to grow into a more accepted form.
She used other ways to tell how she wanted to grow into something different, She was having trouble grownng up with issusess that did not include the racial issue.. It is an insiers view into a young black girl’s transition into black woman-hood at a time where both being a black girl and a black woman was not as welcomed It discusses the conflict she has between being a little girl “jumping double Dutch until your legs pop” and “growing tall it talks about when she marries and becomes submissive to a ma as women did in her era.
In comparison to Child of the Americas, the feeling or tone of the story is in complete opposition to the bouncy, girl, proud of her heritage l I have n ow covered two different heritages, one who is proud of her heritage and it is apparent that she looks forward to her future. The second is of the transition of a woman who is not sure of her future in relationship to her heritage. The third story begins as a mellow story of two young people who grow up together discover each other, but apparently the girl has no future, other than the one in which she is destined to live the rest of her life.
The tone of this story becomes dark and hard as the young woman realizes she has no future and no control of her future. The characters and their background are important in each of these three stories. In all three stories, the character and their reaction to their ethnicity in relationship to how they feel about themselves is the key point of each story. Their reactions range from feeling good about themselves, vibrant and alive to feeling that they had a set pattern in life and had to learn to grow up and live it, to feeling as if they are of no importance to anyone at all.
The theme of these three stories appears to be intertwined. The reasoning for these themes are not the same, but they are related. They all include learning to live with yourself and your conditions in relationship to your cultural background, your area in which you live , your own internal feelings and the feelings of others toward you. In each story, the situations were handled differently The character in Child of the Americas is adjusted to the fact that she is unique and is proud of herself.
The character in Country Lovers has made mistakes in her life, adjusted to limitations in life and is simply trying to live life in the only way she knows how to survive. The theme is What its like to grow up black, has a less apparent theme than the other two. It appears to consider how hard it is to grow up at all, much less during the time period a transition in the place of the people of her heritage in the world. The main theme of these three stories is that we need to be honest with ourselves and live life in the best way we can The tone of each story differs but each added to the individual reading of these tories. The Child of the Americas was an upbeat reading to begin with and was reflected in the tone. It made me think of my own heritage and how it contributed to the person I am today. The tone of What is like to grow up black had a tone that suggested a little sadness and confusion. The tone made me reflect onmy own childhood. I could empathize with the confusion of childhood. I was growing up in the 1960’s and though my ethnic backround is different, each of us in that era we were both women and had decisions to make about our future. Our character seemed to think her future was marriage.
The third character was growing up in South /Africa during a time of race oppression compared to the United States slavery times, so the theme appeared to be quite different from the theme of the first two stories. It used childhood innocence and exploration and added the forbidden dimension of separation of races to form her childhood and rise into adulthood, In conclusion, the tone of each story differed but all three ended with the characters knowing where they belonged in the world. The historical aspect of each story played an important part of each story.
Looking at each author’s background their other writings helps us to understand the reasoning behind each story. Our textbook tells us that Nadine Gordimer was born and raised in South Africa and has lived there all her life except for a year spent at college. Her writing reflects her strong opposition to apartheid which oppressed the black population of South Africa for almost fifty years,, ending in 1994, Apartheid was a socioeconomic system that managed to oppress the black population though they were in the majority of South African people.
Many of her works talked about patricia smith is a modern poet known for slam poetry. It is said she speaks for the foices of thoe who have not been heard. Her poetry includes stories of mothers of murdered black youths, the undertakers who try to patch up the bodies, the skinheads whose hate twists America in a knotl Born raised and beginning work as a columinist for Chicago Tribune, she transplanted to New England where she became a columnist for the Boston Globe. She told the same stories using the same techniques and gave birth to slam poetry, using real issues and slamming the point home.
In this capacity she lost her credibility when it was discovered that many of her stories written in newspapers as facts, were in fact not true stories. It cost her her career, her marriage and the Pulitzer prize. She has recovered from these downfalls and continues to write and perform slam poetry. http://www. english. illinois. edu/maps/poets/s_z/p_smith/p_smith. htm Aurora Morales, author of Child of the Americas was born in Puerto Rico, the child of a Puerto Rican mother and Jewish father.
She moved to the United States in 1967 and has proven herself to be a social activist, concerened with issues of third world people, especially women. She uses her Puerto Rican heritage to identify on a global perspective. Her work discusses sesual abuse racial discrimination and such far ranging topicsa as ecology and social justice. She along with many other women of color who are writers in the U. S, stry to stress the importance of female ethnic heritage in relationship to the development of a feminine voice. She authored her first book, her most important and acclaimed one with her mother.
It was a common project in which both of them fouond peace and refuge against discrimination and oppression in writing about themes using their Puerto Rican identity, expressing opinions of third world feminism, , womens relationships and self discovery through a past heritage. It was through this writing that Child of the Americas was born. She and her mother feel that diversity is a source of pawe and home is everywhere. At present she and her mother are attempting to tell the history of peurto Rio through womens ancestor’s who have been silenced.
It is unusual work, mixing history of oppressed women with medicinal herb remedies. The two women feel tht reliving and opening up old painful wounds of wimen’s mistreatment is a way of cleansing and healing the past. http://www. uhu. es/antonia. dominguez/pricans/aurora_levins_morales. htm The varied backgrounds of these three women come together to make them writers who write about oppressed and downtrodden peoples. Each in their real lives has worked to correct these problems/ The time line of the history of these three authors has also influenced the historical aspecof each piece of work.
They were acve in the 1960’s in which lay the most influencial racial issues of modern day. Apathaid oin south Africa was inforced and Apartheid was begun as a result of greed for the diamonds of South Africa. To insure that the smallest amount of people would have the rights, certain laws were enabled. In 1948 laws that were enacted that pertained to every aspect of social life. From the ability for interracial marriage to the instillation of white only jobs. This discrimination included naming people by their color, their parents color.
The black, white, or other nationality were the only ones accepted. If one was considered black. He had to carry a pass at all times, that even included his fingerprints. These were the conditions that were in affect during the writing of Country Lovers. http://www. hoover. org/publications/hoover-digest/by-topic/1076 The civil rights movement occurred between 1955 and 1968, /the movement mainly wanted to abolish discrimination toward African Americans. It began in the south where whites were segregated from blacks.
These people were treated ruely because of their color and everything from transportation to the use of public drinking fountains was affected. Now famous black Americans such as rosa parks and martin luthor king took up the causedelivering speeches, making people aware of the unjustice There were deaths including Martin Luthor King but eventually the Civil Rights Act was signed by President Johnson in 1964. All of these discrimination acts occurred during the time all three authors were writing, so it is quite logical that their work would be filled with reference to the unjustice off treatment of the black race in their writings.
I feel the similarities of these three stories comes within the plot. I feel these stories were written to make people aware of the pastplight of black women and as Aurora Morales has done publicly, keep a record of their heritage of this injustice. The p lot is as simple as helping a woman rise above injustice. To bring these three stories together. Their similarities far outweigh their difference. They were historically written in a time of injustice for the black race. The tone of each story reflects the attitude of each woman in relationship to her race.
Anonymous (2011) http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/by-topic/1076 morales (2010) http://www.uhu.es/antonia.dominguez/pricans/aurora_levins_morales.htm Smith P. (2007)
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