Dreams From My Father
President Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father examines significant aspects of feministic influence throughout the book. One of the most influential characters in Barry’s life is his mother. We first see an influence of Obama’s mother in the preface. Obama mentions how differently he would have written the book, if he had known his mother wouldn’t survive her illness. He would have written it with a drastic difference in the way his mother is portrayed throughout the memoir. Ann Dunham, a freethinking and fearless white woman from Kansas, who married a black man from Kenya, paves the way for young Barry to become a successful student and leader. Barely two years into the marriage, she was left to raise Barry alone; yet she returned to college, studied for an anthropology degree and remarried, to an Indonesian student whom she followed to Jakarta with her son. Nonetheless, she fretted that Indonesian schools were inadequate and dragged her son from bed at 4am to teach him English for three hours before school. Barry recalls her saying, “If you want to grow into a human being, you’re going to need some values” (49). As Barry grew up, his mother spent a lot of her time teaching him the virtues and ways to embrace the blackness within him. He says, “Her message was to embrace black people generally. She would come home with books about the civil rights movement...” (51). We see here that Obama became aware of how people would treat him differently once he moved back to America. He realizes after that his mother was only trying to warn him about the discrimination he would face; essentially, his mother teaches him what it is like to be different and to embrace it. Another important feminine influence that molded some of the ways of his thinking was his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, known as Toot. She raised him in his teenage years and was the backbone of the family. She struggled through sexism to become the first woman...
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