Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Answer to Question 3
I don’t think we can make any generalization about the role of females in the novel because we had two contrasting females, Ruth and Pilate. While Ruth is a weak young woman (not to mention that some of her actions are a little difficult to understand), Pilate represents a different side of the African American females. She is a strong single woman and her strength is shown in the beginning of the novel when she attacks Reba’s boyfriend. Her strength is also shown throughout her life such as raising Reba by herself, overcoming her physical differences, and so forth. I also think that it is a little hard to make generalization about the males in the novel because we also had contrasting male characters as well: Milkman, Macon Dead and Guitar. On one hand, we had Guitar who felt the need to take revenge for any injustice that happened to African Americans. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we had Macon Dead that was acting like a Caucasian and being unfair to his own people. Somewhere in the middle was Milkman who didn’t feel the need to act and didn’t realize his own identity till the very end. I feel like Sitkoff concentrated more on the roles of African American males than the females and it is certainly because the activist was generally males. However, we did have characters like Rosa Parks that stood up for the African American rights and in some ways, I feel like Rosa Parks shares some similarities with Pilate. Overall, I think the novel showed different sides of both the female and male African Americans which make it hard to make any generalization. I also feel like Sitkoff concentrated a little more on the role of males and the females were more shown as the supporting characters.