Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gwendolyn Brooks A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon

I chose this poem by Gwendolyn Brooks because I found it fascinating that she would write from the perspective of a white southern woman.  I initially thought she felt sympathy for Carolyn Bryant.  But as I did some research into the background of the Emmett Till case and the history of Mississippis' extreme racial views, I read the poem as a condemnation of the southern white womans' compliance in the evils of racism. The line in the poem that states, "It was good to be a "maid mild." (Brooks 11) refers how the white southern woman was viewed, as a maiden who needed to be saved from the "evil" black man, who wanted only to rape white women.  As the poem progresses, it is clear to see that the woman is disturbed by the events that occurred. She seems to be feeling guilty even, "...she could not remember now what that foe had done Against her, or if anything had been done." (Brooks, 51-52) and she feels as though "a red ooze" was spreading from her husband's hands onto her.  At the end of the poem she says "a hatred for him burst into glorious flower,"  she cannot stand to be near him or touched by him after what has happened.  I believe she aware of her role in the murder of the young boy and feels guilty but she will not do anything to correct it or change the status quo of her prejudiced world.  Is the woman in the poem equally guilty for the death of the boy because she did not stand up to evils of the society she belongs to? 

1 comment:

  1. Sarah,
    Don't forget that if you relate any words or ideas from outside sources in your posts, you need to cite them (even if you put them in your own words).