Rosario Ferre’s and Bessie Head’s works are dealing with many issues of racial and gender discrimination and racialism. ‘’The youngest doll’’ by Ferre and ”Snapshot’s of the wedding” by Head is opening to the reader a sad picture of women being discriminated against by society.
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Especially the story, written by Bessie Head shows us the fatal result of such an unfair attitude. In this work, the writer does not tell about love that much as it tells about how the social classes often use their power and authority, and here, how they use women just as an object. The dolls, which are being presented to her nieces on the day of their weddings are symbolizing them, being used just like a thing, a toy. The doctor had the power over the aunt by not healing her and taking the prawn out of the aunt’s leg so that he will have some income from this patient and give money for his son’s college. Bessie Head shows how from a beautiful woman, the main heroine get this scar on her life, because of a doctor’s irresponsibility towards her, because she is a woman: ”she had been very beautiful, but the prawn hidden under the long, gauzy folds of her skirt tripped her of all vanity”.
Isn’t that a crime to treat a woman, who had a normal life this way, taking away her opportunity, even her right to find a place in society, to live a life and be happy, to be independent and in control of their own life?! At the end of the story, the main heroine died, still as just a doll, showing all the inhumanity, disgrace, and injustice of this system. ‘’Then the doll lifted her eyelids, and out of the empty sockets of her eyes came the frenzied antennae of all those prawns.’’ Ferre’s work has some elements of mythical realism. It warns the reader of incorrect and sometimes deadly use of power or authority.
As for Bessie Head’s ” Snapshots of wedding”, in this story writer describes the theme of love and marriage from two women Neo, whose education comes out to be a complicated matter in the village, and Matata, who is known as a nice girl, between the villagers, but completely uneducated. Both girls are pregnant from one man – Kegoletile.
Comparing two girls we find out, that they are in full contrast to each other. Neo, ”an impossible girl with haughty arrogant ways…”, ”walked around with her nose in the air”, while Mathata ‘’was a pretty girl with black eyes like starts; she was always smiling and happy.
Kegoletile had to make a choice, whom would he marry. And he chose Neo, but not because he loved her, but because she was educated. ‘’He thinks that since she is as educated as he is they will both get good jobs and be rich in no time.’’ Of course, when choosing a wife, Kegoletile has an inner conflict. He wanted to marry Mathata, but his social circumstances would not let him, because Mathata is bounded by her poverty. Yet she ‘’was completely uneducated; the only work she would ever do was that of housemaid’’. Kegoletile was literally forced to marry Neo, by the society he lived in – ‘’It was though the society itself stamped each of its individuals with its own brand of wealth and Kegoletile had not yet escaped it’’.
As we see this marriage was made not as a result of love, but as a result of selfishness, and for stepping up on a social ladder. I think marriages like this are doomed. People who are married without love will never be happy in such a marriage and this is also a big social problem nowadays.
Both writers were trying to get the reader to pay attention to women’s discrimination. Nowadays this question still stays open. Abuses and violence against women are pretty systematic, and relentless, though society tries not to see this huge problem. After reading these two works I underlined that women’s discrimination is a big social epidemic. And until we won’t realize it, this inner cancer will slowly destroy society’s morality and order. Such writers as Rosario Ferre and Bessie Head are trying to do their very best to show this problem to the whole world with the help of writing. Their works make people think about this problem and sometimes try to solve it.