Possessing the Secret of Joy Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 11 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Possessing the Secret of Joy.
This section contains 665 words
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Possessing the Secret of Joy Summary & Study Guide Description

Possessing the Secret of Joy Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles on Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker.

Preview of Possessing the Secret of Joy Summary:

The central themes in Possessing the Secret of Joy fit together like a reasoned argument. Established first is a concern central to all of Walker's work: the subjugation of women. In this novel the focus is specifically on how ritualized female circumcision denigrates women's bodies, minds, and spirits.

The cataloguing of circumcision's horrific effects begins with the moving opening scene of Tashi as a young girl crying soundlessly among adults for her dead sister, the victim of a botched mutilation. Because of the powerful taboo against acknowledging the practice, no one shows any emotion or offers to comfort the little girl.

Later, Tashi herself undergoes the ritual to identify with the Olinka people, whose freedom fighters, in throwing off the yoke of imperialism, seek social cohesiveness by encouraging tribal traditions. Tashi finds the ritual serves to strengthen patriarchal power at her heavy expense. Urination takes her three quarters of...

This section contains 665 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Possessing the Secret of Joy Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Possessing the Secret of Joy from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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