Need for Community in Their Eyes Were Observing God and Sula
Community is an important concern in the two black and women's literature. The racist and patriarchal characteristics of American contemporary society, what Morrison refers to as the master narrative of our lifestyle, places blacks and women and particularly black women in a position of powerlessness and vulnerability. Neighborhoods serve as a protective barrier within which will black girls must function in order to survive. However equally Hurston and Morrison determine and criticize how the patriarchal nature of the master story is present in black neighborhoods. The male-female hierarchy in the black community mirrors not only the patriarchy of the prominent white tradition, but also the white-black hierarchy. In Hurston's story, Janie's granny identifies this kind of hierarchy, showing Janie that
de white-colored man chuck down para load and tell de nigger gentleman tuh get it. He pick it up because he have to, but he don't bag it. He hand that to para womenfolks. Sobre nigger woman is sobre mule uh de globe so fur as Oh can see (14).
Nel confronts Sula with this same framework in their final conversation: "You a woman and a colored female at that. You can't act like a man" (142). Through the heroes of Janie and Sula, Hurston and Morrison obstacle these hierarchies and the razor-sharp dichotomies they draw. Both of these women interact with the community as well as values in such a way as to give new meaning to the dialogue. Their areas both foil and support their self-assertion. In the two novels, residential areas function as both equally contextual elements and as companions in the dialogue by which the protagonists turn into themselves.
In both works of fiction, the community supplies a context pertaining to the story and a dwelling-...
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