Good Hair Essay

1739 words - 7 pages

There are three reasons Lucas commits suicide, and each reason teaches an important lesson to Alice. The first reason is that Lucas felt that he had no identity and did not fit in with his peers and other social groups. Secondly, Lucas was not able to commit to relationships. The final reason is that Lucas felt a lot of guilt for attempting to rape Alice. While all of these reasons negatively affected Lucas and were the reasons behind his suicide, they also taught Alice valuable lessons which allowed her to make improvements to her life. If it was not for the lessons in identity, cultural perspective, and self worth, Alice would not have been able to move forward with the changes in her life.

In the story of Good Hair, Lucas’ lack of identity was one of the main reasons that he committed suicide. In his suicide note, Lucas references not being able to fit in with any of the cultures in his school. This made it difficult in his life and created issues with Lucas dealing with who he was and where he belonged in society. This issue with his lack of identity created hatred and tension internally because of the people he surrounded himself with. “I felt I could never find a place where I could be myself and be accepted”, said Lucas in the letter. This statement shows the loneliness that Lucas felt with not being able to be a part of a group. His identity and the label that he tried to pigeonhole himself into did not exist and because of it, he could not feel complete. Also, Lucas states in his letter, “...trying to fit in, pretending I was something I wasn’t”, was what persuaded him to buy the sailboat that racked up the credit card debt for his parents. The push to feel accepted by associates and his parents was something that he wished for and what also created the self hatred in his life when he hurt others. Lucas also describes how these preconditions to what he was in life caused him to feel angry when it came to his romantic relationships as well as his corporate jobs.

The lessons of identity is important to Alice because she felt the same issues as Lucas with her own self label. Growing up, she felt that she did not fit in with the black girls who berated her on the fashions of the white magazines that she wore every day to school. It wasn’t until she started to embrace the stuck up group of girls in her school, that she could feel safe from being bullied. The notion of her childhood from her parents that the son should be smart and go to school while she should be satisfied because, “...it was enough, they said, that I was pretty”. The death of Lucas allowed her to see that she had more control in figuring out where she belongs as a successful writer . In Alice’s relationship with Miles, she had to submit to his will and not live a life that was fulfilling. The pleasures and the fashion that came with Miles’ money, did not make her feel complete. In the same way, Lucas’ death teaches Alice that she should not settle on things that did...

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