Paper 1-Men of Brewser Place

Paper 1-Men of Brewser Place - Chris Kokkinis UGC 211...

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Chris Kokkinis UGC 211: American Pluralism Paper #1: The Women of Brewster Place March 2 nd , 2007 The Men of “Brewster Place” Gloria Naylor has said that she made a conscious effort to not project a negative image of men in her book, The Women of Brewster Place . She has said that she geared her energy toward “creating a woman’s world” and in no way meant for the problems caused by men in the book to be considered as a “bitter statement I had to make about black men.” However, it still seems that one of the most evident themes of the story is that of men bringing nothing but harm and misfortune to the women of Brewster Place. It does not seem possible to read this novel and not have a negative view of men projected upon you. The Women of Brewster Place could certainly be seen as a source of empowerment for feminism. Naylor does a great job of getting this across by using a common antagonist for each character: men. Brewster Place is a run-down dead end street that the rest of the world has seemed to forget about; the same could also be said of the women who live there. The women here have no means of social mobility. For a single woman living in the ghetto, the only reasonable way out is a man with money. Naylor tells this story through the eyes of Etta Mae Johnson. Etta Mae fashions her lifestyle around the lyrics of Billie Holiday, the famous Blues singer. She is a very charismatic and outwardly independent woman. She sees no need to commit herself to a single man; once she finds one, she only stays with him until he wears out or runs out of money. Naylor does not even show this in a negative light. She seems almost heroic for Kokkinis 1
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having the guts to live life the way she does. However, when a man comes along that does the same thing to her, it is shown in a different light. Etta Mae eventually meets a man that she really likes and thinks about finally settling down with. Reverend Woods is a very charismatic man in good social and economic standing. The Reverend, on the other hand, is only looking for a quick one-night stand and thinks that Etta Mae is too. The next day, when Reverend Woods finds out that he had pegged her wrong and drops
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Paper 1-Men of Brewser Place - Chris Kokkinis UGC 211...

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