Black Woman as Mother in two selected novels of Alice Walker- The Third Life of Grange Copeland and Meridian

Pratidhwani the Echo (I) (2013)
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The Black woman has always been portrayed in clichéd images in the white media, stereotyping them in a racist and sexist manner. In Black Women Image Makers, Mary Helen Washington dwells upon such unfair portrayals as the tragic mulatto, the hot blooded exotic whore and the strong Black Mammy. And this is probably why the black mother frequently appears in literature as a figure of towering strength. In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), an old grandmother, a former slave, accurately describes her position in this society: "De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see". The black mother is not a woman with power, not a liberated woman, but a mule, picking up the burdens that everyone else has thrown down and refused to carry. To outsiders, the Negro mother appears to be the one-dimensional Rock of Gibraltar – strong of back, long of arm, incapable of destruction. The proposed paper would study the black mothers as portrayed in Alice Walker’s novels, The Third Life of Grange Copeland and Meridian. To Walker, the Black mother is an individual – profound, tragic, mysterious, sacred, and unfathomable – strong in many, but not in all ways. She claims that the assertion of the black mother as a superwoman is a myth, and she feels that the black mother isn’t always strong. A black man does have a history of ignoring his responsibilities, but the black mother has had no choice in any matter; she has had to pick up the burdens that no one else would carry. In her fiction, Walker introduces the real-feeling, caring, uncaring, disappointed, indifferent black mother to the world.



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