Push Essay

686 words - 3 pages

Sapphire, the author of the well-known book Push, grew up in the United States and taught literature to teenagers and adults in Harlem (Sapphire, II). Having had experience with younger generations of people from different genders, class, and ethnicity, she was able to observe the life issues of her students to a little extent; which probably inspired her to write the novel. Making the protagonist of the story African-American like herself, the author tries to set up the fundamental reality of discrimination of women; illiterate and poor, but more importantly, how these women fight back on their own without male support. Furthermore, we can observe how the feminist approach of the author is a reaction to fantastical myths of ideal feminine lives, such as Cinderella, where the two characters live happily ever after.

Claireece Precious Jones is the extreme opposite of what we may call the white, middle-class, and happy, stereotypical girl. Far from normal, this black, illiterate and poor eighteen year old conceives two children, both from her sexually disturbed father: “1983 and 1987, twelve years old and sixteen years old, first baby and this one coming” (21). This alone is not the sole tragedy of the book, all the women Sapphire portray are of different nationalities, poor and illiterate, each having had different issues, one more worse that the next. A great example of the illiteracy seen, from helpless teens, are from the ‘alternative school’ Precious attends, where she meets others like herself, like Rhonda, who was frequently raped by her brother, was kicked out of her house, and then left to prostitute to survive on her own: “Ma. Kimberton is… molesting with me at night/ she say get out of my house now. Filthy haint, night devil walker she call me” (Rhonda’s journal, I).

However, as evil and cruel these scenarios seem, the point of the author is to establish the position that these women hold in society when faced with their fears, on top of their disadvantage in schooling and in social class. The position of power and...

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