Alice Walker uses Virginia Woolf’s phrase “contrary instincts” to describe the creative spirit that her female ancestors honored while working hard and living in oppressive conditions. Her mother had a difficult life, but she managed to keep her creative spirit alive. She held onto what she could in the simplest ways. Where there was a will there was a way.
Walker explains that her mother, though tired and overworked, did express and feed her creative spirit. She planted incredible gardens, with various blooming plants. Walker compares her mother’s garden to magic. Friends and strangers visited the garden regularly and would ask to stand or walk amongst her mother’s art. Her mother’s garden represents the undying love of beauty and creation, symbolizing the weaving of her creative spirit with nature’s hand. Her mother’s struggle is very similar to Lena Olin’s struggle in the movie Chocolat, where she prevails over the oppression of her abusive husband and reveals her inner self.
When women are denied the opportunity for an artistic medium, they are deprived of the right to unravel their authentic self because art plays a crucial role in discovering ones true identity. One could argue that the lack of an artistic medium is irrelevant in discovering ones true identity because their identity is based on the role that they were born into. A married woman has to tend to her husband, to cook, to clean, to ensure he is satisfied. A woman bearing children has the responsibilities of raising them and nurturing them, and their role is to be a mother. However, even mothers need an outlet to express their creative spirits and emotions.
Quality-oriented Education The National Conference on Education, the third of its kind since China began its reform and opening policies in the late 1970 s, was hosted in Beijing in June by the central government and the State Council. It endorsed a blueprint for promoting quality-oriented education that highlights the cultivation of independent thinking, creative spirit and the practical ability ...
The denial of an artistic medium is denying them the right to discover their own identities. From Alice Walkers piece “In Search of our Mothers’ Garden”, she expresses how many women could have been great if they were only allowed to express their artistic needs. Jean To omer expresses these confined women as ‘exquisite butterflies trapped in an evil honey, toiling away their lives in an era, a century that did not acknowledge them, except as “the mule of the world”‘ (232).
These women, mothers and grandmothers, struggled through hardships secretly searching for ways to express their artistic needs; the need to discover themselves during times of oppression and confinement. “For these grandmothers and mothers of ours were not Saints, but Artists; driven to a numb and bleeding madness by the springs of creativity in them for which there was no release… who lived lives of spiritual waste, because they were so rich in spirituality – which is the basis of Art – that the strain of enduring their unused and unwanted talent drove them insane.” (233) This desire for an artistic outlet not only denied them their freedom to discover themselves but it also put an enormous strain on their mental states.
These women were not meant to just be mothers and grandmothers but to be something great. From the movie Chocolat, Lena Olin (Josephine) overcomes the destitution from her husband after being able to freely communicate her need and desires with Juliette Bi noche (Via nne) in creating works of art. Her emotional state of mind, her well being, her sense of self was restored soon after she was able to fulfill her desires. When the opportunity arose, she embraced it. Having the opportunity to express her artistic needs opened new doors for her, leading her to a better life. She transformed herself from a petty thief with no direction in life, to an independent woman who owned a business.
Motherhood is Womanhood: The Identity of Woman in Buchi Emechetafs The Joys of Motherhood Danielle Grant Let it be known that Buchi Emecheta, the author of The Joys of Motherhood, does not consider herself a feminist. She has said herself that she identifies much more with the term gwomanist. h Whatever you call it, Emecheta clearly identifies with the plight of the Nigerian Woman in her novel The ...
She found guidance from art and from there she understood who she was meant to be, not just a wife to an abusive husband. She would not have been able to accomplish this without the opportunity for an artistic medium. When women are allowed to decide their own fates rather then the role that men and society place them in, they have the ability to define who they are by their actions and creations. “The agony of the lives of women who might have been Poets, Novelists, Essayists, and Short-Story Writers, who died with their real gifts stifled within them” (234), were not allowed to use the talent nature has given them.
Imagine all those people and how their lives would have differed if they were allowed the opportunity to freely embrace their desires and needs. These people were not allowed the right for the artistic outlet that could lead them to the person who they were meant to be. The restraints like handcuffs limited their life, preventing them from discovering their own true self. Could she have been a famous writer? Painter? Sculptress? “Did you have a genius of a great-great-grandmother who died under some ignorant and depraved white overseer’s lash? Or was she required to back biscuits for a lazy backwater tramp when she cried out in her soul to paint watercolors of sunsets, or the rain falling on the green and peaceful pastureland’s? Or was her body broken and forced to bear children?” (233) Unfortunately, because men and society denied women the right of an artistic medium, these women who could have been great were dealt the short end of the stick. This imprisonment hampers women’s ability to recognize who they are. Alice Walker challenges women not to overlook what might be so relative to their true existence; the true means of their existence and who they really are.
She strongly expresses that women should no longer be muffled and that they should look deeper. It is the responsibility of women to make there stand and be heard against the oppression. They must find ways to express their artistic medium whenever they can because it is when they do, will they uncover their true self. When Alice Walker went in search of her mother’s garden it became a journey about uncovering her own true self. Her mother was her strength and her role model. Walker discovered that she found herself while searching for her heritage, and in the process she excavated her authentic self.
F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays women in a negative way in his book The Great Gatsby. While each woman in the story has her own distinguishing characteristics, all of the women are shown to be absent minded and deceitful people. Fitzgerald shows these characteristics through the use of symbolism, the use of women's actions, and/or the use of women's words. The first female character that is ...
“Guided by my heritage of a love of beauty and a respect for strength — -in search of my mother’s garden, I found my own” (243).
Judging an artist based on skin color or gender leads to nowhere. By doing this, women are being denied the right to discover their own true self. What would have happened if this were the case for the male gender? Would society lose the great works of Mozart? Beethoven? And other great artists? Art plays a significant role in allowing a person to express their emotions, to delve deeper then they can see. When society deprives women the right for an artistic medium, they are not only cheating themselves of the fine creations that could have existed, but they are cheating women of whom they were meant to be.