Research Paper on GLoria Naylor's "The Women of Brewster Place"

Essay by emzec37High School, 12th gradeA+, February 2004

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Historically, the black woman was born of inferior status and prejudice based on sex and color. Over time she has transformed into a woman of much prestige filled with courage and determination, much like the characters in Gloria Naylor's novel. The black woman's experiences consisted of hardships and bitterness. From the beginning of time, the black woman was mainly used for breeding more slaves. The strength of their spirits helped them survive. All the women in the Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor overcome some struggle but in reality they only complicate their situation because of race.

African Americans played three major roles in the past: physical labor and toil as a slave, a breadwinner, used as a pleasure for the white male, and a fighter, urging on with the black man's fight for equality. As far back as most can remember, the female African American has played the part as a slave or as a household maid.

However, unknown by most white Americans, the black woman was used as a sexual myth; just a pleasure for the white male. They also played a huge part in the fight for freedom of their people and heritage. The women were the ones who backed and sometimes even pushed harder than their men. The struggles of living and existence were confronted every day just like the characters in The Women of Brewster Place. Surviving racism, rape, war, childhood, neglect, and poverty, the women in this novel pull together and share a sense of sisterhood. They are all joined in their community by loss and all have a real sense, which the reader can relate to. "Naylor's people are real, touchable, and tragically elegant. Their triumph is their tragedy, as they cling on, tenuously, to whatever remains of their lives and...