The example Xuela sees of womanhood, and the one she later repeats, is one of jealousy and spite. At one point, this step-mother even tries to kill Xuela with a necklace, piece of jewelry. This is another example of femininity -- this time in the form of a feminine object, the necklace -- being used in a destructive way. Xuela so identifies with this picture of women that she repeats the behavior without even understanding why, such as when she seduces her step-sister's lover or sleeps with other women's husbands.
Eventually, Xuela marries a rich white man who loves her, and she uses this love to make fun of him and control her world. This is the only way she has been taught to be a woman. She has almost all of the traditional negative "feminine" traits, such as jealousy, manipulation, and selfishness, but none of the good qualities. She has no empathy with other people and no compassion. She is also not over-emotional,...
Instead, she often seems to lack emotion, acting coolly and bitterly from motives that even she doesn't understand. Since the entire book is told from her perspective, the reader can easily see why her view of women and femininity becomes what it is, even if it is hard to be sympathetic towards her.
The book is narrated by Xuela as an old woman as she looks back over her life, and it is clear from her tone and how she tells the story that her attitude has not changed since childhood. The destruction of any decent examples of femininity starting at her birth with the death of her mother. When she begins to explore her own sexuality, she ends up sterile from an abortion, and so has destroyed her own femininity in the way her mother was destroyed. She is left an empty and bitter woman-shaped shell. Her relationships, especially with men, exist because she is trying to get something. This book does not describe the evils of women, but rather the evils of a society that can turn a woman into this kind…
Autobiography X Malcolm X's autobiography provides poignant insight into the life of the man, but also offers insight into the historical and cultural context in which he wrote. Malcolm X delves into issues of race, class, gender, and power in the book, showing how these issues are interrelated in his personal life as well as in American society. As such, Malcolm X is very much a quintessential American, whose identity is
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