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Gloria Naylor's The Women Of Brewster Place

1330 words - 5 pages

(Introduction): Throughout her novel, The Women of Brewster Place, Ms. Naylor emphasizes the importance of sister hood by showing how the women are strengthened by their relationships with one another and proving that men are not necessary to their survival or happiness.

Thesis: The strengthening of women through other women is illustrated by Mattie's role as a daughter to Miss Eva, a sister to Etta Mae, and a mother to Lucielia.

PARA 2: Miss Eva Turner plays a vital role in Mattie's life by taking her in during her loneliness and destitution and treating Mattie and Basil as if they are her own family.

PARA 3: The sisterhood between Mattie and Etta Mae is illustrated by each woman's willingness to help the other in through their most trying times.



Gloria Naylor's book, The Women of Brewster Place, focuses on seven black female residents of Brewster Place. As they cope with living in a racist and sexist society, they encounter further abuse from their own husbands, lovers, and children. Mattie Michael brings love and special attention to the lives of Ms. Eva, Etta Mae, and Luceilia. "She becomes the anchor for these women of Brewster Place" (Gottlieb p.1483). "Mattie Michael has lost her home to her much loved, but errant son, but becomes the backbone of this community of women"(Aull, 2). Each woman learned to grow stronger emotionally, to lean more towards sister hood, and to strive for self-improvement.
Mattie is a second mother figure to Lucielia. Mattie replaced Ms. Eva. Ever since Lucielia moved to Brewster Place, Mattie showed concern for her in a motherly fashion. Abandoned by her man in a time of suffering, Lucielia gains determination to survive her time of tribulation. The death of Lucielia's daughter was devastating to her. After the death of her daughter, Lucielia gave up the will to live until Mattie's intervention. Lucielia was literally dying of grief and rage. "It is Mattie's intervention and her ability to place Lucielia's grief in a historical context and to know it as one more instance of "murdered dreams" in a long history of such murders that undergirds her life saving and healing intervention" (Aull, 2) Mattie healed and renewed Lucielia physically and mentally. "Mattie magnificently wrestles Ciel, dying of grief, back to life" (Gottlieb p.1484). Mattie took on the role of a mother when she nursed Lucielia back to health. Mattie treated and nursed Lucielia "as if handling a newborn"(Naylor, 104). Mattie's relationship with Basil teaches her valuable lessons that help her to be a more effective mother figure to Lucielia. Mattie's mistake with Basil is she used him to fill a void. She loved the fact that he was solely dependent on her. "My Bed hasn't been empty since Basil was born" (38). Mattie spoiled Basil to the point he would always have to have his way. He knew his mother would always be there for him. Because of that, he took advantage of her. It was...

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