“The Street” by Ann Petry

In this novel, The Street by Ann Petry, tells just how hard life can be on the streets of Harlem. Reading Petry’s Novel, I mentally put myself in the shoes of, Lutie Johnson. Lutie is an African American woman who is also a single mother. Lutie tries her best to provide the best life she can for her and her son, Bub. Lutie experiences racism in the novel, and also discrimination and sexism. To get the life that she wants for herself and for Bub, Lutie must make some very hard decisions. This book took me through all the hard work and steps that Lutie must make and go through to make her and her son’s life better. This novel begins in November 1944, a cold and windy day in New York City. Petry glorifies the tendency for human independence by developing a plot in which she has to provide for her and her son all by herself, she is put threw racism, sexism, and hardship.

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The Street is a classic example of Petry’s naturalistic talent. Petry illuminates the anger, frustration, and resignation felt by Negroes during World War II. The story is written in the third person omniscient point of view. Although Lutie is the main character in the novel, Petry provides powerful insight into the lives of Bub, Min, Jones, Mrs. Hedges, and Boots. Each character’s point of view weaves together with the others to better show what a devastating impact racism, poverty, and gender had during that timeframe. The adult male characters in the story show what little respect they hold for women. They see the women as little more than sex objects. The women in the story show how their past experiences and current circumstances makes it virtually impossible for a black woman to ever achieve anything more than what they have managed to achieve thus far.

In our society of today, there are many images that are portrayed through media and through personal experience that speak to the issues of black motherhood, marriage and the black family. Wherever one turns, there is the image of the black woman in the projects and very rarely the image of successful black women. Even when these positive images are portrayed, it is almost in a manner that speaks to the supposed inferiority of black women. Women, black women in particular, are placed into a society that marginalizes and controls many of the aspects of a black woman’s life.

Therefore, many black women do not see a source of opportunity, a way to escape the statistics of their everyday existence. For example, if I were to ask a black mother if she would change her situation if it became possible to do so, some women would change, but others would say that it is not possible; This answer would be the result of living in a society that has conditioned black women to accept their lots in lives instead of fighting against the system. A lot of women today fall victim to system and actually content with that life style.

If more women had the amount of determination that Lutie Johnson had it would defenliaty be a lot more successful black women in today’s society. The reason I chose Ann Petry, novel; was because the message that she is sending is real, granted this novel was written in the 1940s, the same experiences that she had to face, black women are still dealing with them today. The only differences are the black women in today’s society lack the drive and determination of Lutie. I personally see young black females go though the same issues, but now days they are looking for the easy way out. Which would more than likely be, Mrs. Hedges, a older lady in Lutie apartment building who runs a little whore house. “If you live on this damn street you’re supposed to want to earn a little extra money sleeping around nights.

With nice white gentlemen.” Chapter 3, Pg 86 So in order to make a long story short, Ann Petry novel Street, portrays, realism The tendency to view or represent things as they really are. The meaning of realism and the novel goes hand and hand. The novel was very much straight forward; or maybe it was just easy to understand the struggle that Lutie was in counting, is the same thing a lot of females that I know personally got though every day. That moment when you can read something or see something, and it makes you remember; that just when you think that you have it bad, it always someone who has it even worst. In Lutie case no matter how hard she tries to get her head above water, it always something to drag her rite back down. So I say that to say this, “you never know the hand that you being dealt, but you have to play to win.”

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