The Women of Brewster Place | Study Guide

Gloria Naylor

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The Women of Brewster Place | Dusk | Summary



The epilogue, "Dusk," reveals that Brewster Place is abandoned. Crumbling and condemned, it has given all it has to give to its "Afric children." Court orders and eviction notices have emptied it out, and now it is awaiting its destruction. For the moment, its spirit survives, trapped in the memories of the women who once lived there. Until those memories fade, Brewster Place will linger on. Although the women have left the neighborhood, thoughts of Brewster Place still wander through the ebb and flow of their daily lives.


The novel's metaphorical day closes with the epilogue "Dusk." The ambiguous ending of the "Block Party" chapter leaves the fate of the women uncertain. However, it seems they do not tear down the wall of Brewster Place. Time and society must do that, just as they must put an end to the racism, poverty, sexism, and violence that the wall symbolizes and Brewster Place fosters. Even then, the spirit of Brewster Place and the social ills it represents will live on until memories of what was endured fade.

Nevertheless, "Dusk" closes on a note of hope, suggesting that dreams are still possible; they survive. The last generation of tenants, before leaving, "packed up the remnants of their dreams" and "still wake up with their dreams misted on the edge of a yawn." This offers hope that their dreams stand a chance of fulfillment. Their strength may ebb and flow with the rhythms of life, but they will never disappear.

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