Wine in the Wilderness Essay

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In the following essay, the author discusses the protagonist's feminism and how her individual spirit overcomes the cultural limitations of patriarchy and race that surround her.

Wine in the Wilderness by Alice Childress shows a black woman's assertion of her autonomy in an "educated" black culture striving to imitate the white patriarchy. The associational clusters in the play reveal a false ideal of subservient, glamorous black womanhood, opposed to another false picture of contemporary black women as domineering matriarchs. The associational cluster surrounding Tommy, the protagonist, opposes both of these with an image of the self-reliant black woman seeking equality with men. Tommy's symbolic actions are assertions of her autonomy, at first unconscious expressions of her character, and finally, in the climactic scene, a conscious rejection of the false ideals held by the other characters.

Because the white hierarchical structure has not been fully adopted by the black...

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This section contains 2,302 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
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Wine in the Wilderness from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.