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"The Two:" A Look At The Woman To Woman Bond And Its Effect On Traditional Gender Roles. Written About "The Two," A Chapter From Gloria Naylor's "The Women Of Brewster Place".

981 words - 4 pages

The bond that women share has always been a mystery, surpassing any other type of relationship. Throughout history, there have been many Thelma and Louises or Betty and Wilmas. It's a cohesive connection that goes beyond a comprehensive definition. However, when this type of relationship is perceived as lesbianism, the traditional gender role belief system is threatened and this can often lead to negative outcomes.It's evident how the close bond between women threatens traditional gender roles. In the story, two women move into Brewster Place: timid, feminine Lorraine and confident, aggressive Theresa. Once it's out that these new, seemingly flawless neighbors are actually lesbians, the community is divided and violence soon follows. Theresa and Lorraine's relationship falls in disrepair shortly before Lorraine is brutally raped and, as she's reeling in the aftermath, kills the only man who protected the two from the others, Ben.The trouble all begins with Sophie, a "willing carrier" of the rumor that had "first spread through the block like a sour odor that's only faintly perceptible and easily ignored until it starts growing in strength from the dozen mouths it had been lying in" (Naylor 2544). Sophie is one of the biggest obstacles the girls will face throughout the text, making their business her business:[indent]Since Sophie's apartment windows faced theirs from across the air shaft, she became the official watchman for the block... [she] took her position seriously and was constantly alert for any telltale signs that might creep out around the drawn shades, across from which she kept a religious vigil (2545).[/indent]She even goes so far as to dig through their garbage and interrogates Ben, the only one to go inside their apartment. She fed the community vague stories, leaving them to "stitch all of their secret fears and lingering childhood nightmares into this existence" (2546).As a member of the female community, Sophie presents an interesting situation. When Etta and Sophie argue about Lorraine and Theresa's sexuality, Etta reveals a very important part of Sophie: "She oughta be glad them two girls are that way. That's one less bed she gotta worry 'bout pullin' Jess out of this year" (2551). Despite her participation in the traditional gender role of the subordinate wife, it seems that Sophie may in fact be jealous of the relationship, both romantic and friendly, that Lorraine and Theresa have. She shares no loving relationship with her husband and isn't on particularly friendly terms with the women of Brewster. As Mattie, a supporter of the two, puts it: "'I've loved some women deeper than I ever loved any man... And there been some women who loved me more and did more for me than any man ever did'" (2551). It's this lack of the woman-to-woman bond that induces Sophie's bitter hatred of the two, possibly believing that if she must suffer with a man then so should...

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