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In Love and Trouble- A Book of Women with Triple Burden

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Mandy Yu Dr. Christie English 1220 6 May 2005 In Love and Trouble- A Book of Women with Triple Burden Stories from In Love and Trouble, like other Alice Walker's works, are the portrayal of black women. I would interpret the term "black women" as women who have gone through all sorts of hardship and struggles, but not all women in the world or only those with black skin. I strongly argue that Walker's characters are better represented as women who suffer the way African American women do, than as women with black skin. I will justify my argument by referring to specific examples from two short stories in the book, namely Roselily and Everyday Use. The characters in In Love and Trouble are not represented by all women because not all women carry as many burdens as the characters in the book. One group of women excluded is the white. As Clenora points out African-American women suffer from "a tripartite form of oppression- racism, classism, and sexism" (192). All black women in the book have to bear the triple burden. Living in a white-dominant society, they are oppressed by the white. Their race also leads to their poverty. ...read more.


Customs like this are extremely humiliating to women. Chinese-American women are in an even worse situation than their counterparts in China as their husbands, who encounter injustice and oppression, may take them as scapegoats and abuse them. Worse, deprived of education, they feel ashamed of their lack of intelligence, in the same way as Maggie. They are often unaware of their own worth. Walker also presents in In Love and Trouble some black women's struggle with their own ethnicity and identity. After years of oppression and suppression, some black women become uncomfortable with their own ethnicity and have a growing desire to assimilate into the mainstream community. According to Washington, these women are "victims, not of physical violence, but of a kind of psychic violence that alienates them from their roots, cutting them off from real contact" (95). She also considers education a factor of the struggles among those black women. Dee in Everyday Use represents this type of women, who are struggling with their own identity. She despises her family and the heritage. She insists changing her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo regardless of the fact that she was named after her grandmamma and aunt: "Well," I say. "Dee." ...read more.


Maggie never worries her mother, a sharp contrast to her sister Dee, who only gives the narrator troubles. Similarly, there is a strong family bond in traditional Chinese families. Suffering from the oppression from the patriarchy, their low opinions of themselves and the oppression from the society, Chinese-American women often unite together, which is the strength for them to survive all those hardships. Although it is a taboo in the Chinese society to use exactly the same given name as any member in the family, it is very common for siblings to share one character in their two-character given name, which connects them together. Women tend not to have a strong bond with their brothers, which attributable to the fact that they suffer low self-esteem and do not find themselves comparable to their brothers. Like the quilts in Everyday Use, women in traditional Chinese families would pass their cultural heritage such as embroidering from generation to generation, which creates a linkage with their ancestors. In conclusion, the characters in In Love and Trouble are neither represented as women in general nor only black women, but women who carry triple burden. While white women never suffer the same way as Walker's characters, cultural groups like Chinese-American women parallel the characters in many aspects, from their triple burden to their struggle with their own identity and their strong bond with their female family members. ...read more.

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