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“The Women on Brewster Place” by Gloria Naylor Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Apr 28th, 2021

Gloria Naylor has written a non-fiction story that talks of the hardship associated with life in Brewster Palace. She uses the third person narration voice to pass information to the audience. For instance, she says, “The women of Brewster had already accepted the lighter, skinny one” (Naylor 2585). However, her story has a number of tonal variations. They include despair, hopefulness, melodramatic, and sentimental. There is also animation in the story where Brewster, a place, is given the human ability to wait on people. The author says, “…Brewster waited, cautiously prepared to claim them…” (Naylor 2584).

There is also the use of figurative language in the narrative. For example, the author states, “It had first spread through the block like a sour odor…” (Naylor 2586). In words “sour odor,” there exists a different meaning from their literal interpretation. The author also employs flashbacks in her work to elaborate on how Sophie got the rumor. She says, “She had been there- on one of those August evenings when the sun’s absence is a mockery …” (Naylor 2586).

However, the story is set over several decades, even though most of the events that occurred in Brewster were a few years ago. The narration site is an unnamed industrial city located in the northern part of the United States of America.

The story talks about independent women living in Brewster. The subject revolves around single motherhood, which is a common behavior in today’s society (Pollit 5). Most ladies end up becoming single mothers through divorce, separation and being impregnated before marriage. According to Rendall, most of the single mothers in the United States of America are African Americans (369). He also argues that the African American women from an ethnic group that has a high number of single motherhood, compared to the white ethnic group.

Works Cited

Naylor, Gloria. “The Women on Brewster Place.” The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, 2nd Edition. Ed. Gates, Henry L, and Nellie Y. McKay. 2584- 2597. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004. Print.

Pollitt, Katha. “The Politics of Single Motherhood.” Havard International Review 22.2 (2000): 5- 6. Print.

Rendall, Michael S. “Entry or Exit? A Transition- Probability Approach to Explaining the High Prevalence of Single Motherhood among Black Women.” Demography 36.3 (1999): 369- 376. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 28). "The Women on Brewster Place" by Gloria Naylor. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-women-on-brewster-place-by-gloria-naylor/

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""The Women on Brewster Place" by Gloria Naylor." IvyPanda, 28 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-women-on-brewster-place-by-gloria-naylor/.

1. IvyPanda. ""The Women on Brewster Place" by Gloria Naylor." April 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-women-on-brewster-place-by-gloria-naylor/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. ""The Women on Brewster Place" by Gloria Naylor." April 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-women-on-brewster-place-by-gloria-naylor/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '"The Women on Brewster Place" by Gloria Naylor'. 28 April.

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