Relationships, personality, Violence, and Manhood in the Third Life of Grange Copeland The novel ‘The Third Life of Grange Copeland’ by Alice Walker can be seen as a set of lives depicting the gradual formation of the personality living in the environment of racial discrimination and striving for human happiness. Alice Walker demonstrates how families can be adversely affected by the culture in which they live, and are often blind to its effects through the depiction of ruthless and violent treatment of family members. The author argues the impact of economical and racial oppression on the development of manhood and interpersonal relationships in addition to centralizing social inequality and its interference with the family life of ordinary people. The author demonstrates relationships between a father and his son. Through this idea, Walker tries to depict the theme of manhood. Brownfield, a victim of the lack of love, especially by the father, is metaphorically blind because he is unable to love. Grange’s coldness and occasional violent words toward Brownfield set a ruthless violence in motion. Brownfield’s father “never looked at him”; (Walker, 9) consequently, Brownfield never develops a sense of self worth. Furthermore, at least once Grange utters something violent to Brownfield; “I ought to throw you down the god dam well.” (Walker, 12) Racial inequality and discrimination is one theme raised by the author as in the presence of white people, Grange’s figurative blindness intensifies: “A grim stillness settled over his eyes and he became an object”. (Walker, 8) Grange also has “veiled eyes”: they are unseeing of the truth. When drunk, he “would make his way across the pasture and through the woods, headlong, like a blind man”. (Walker, 14) Grange is blind to options of how he can make his life different from his forefathers and how he does not have to be reduced to the low position in society, which he accepts. Manhood is also...
Cited: Walker, Alice. The Third Life of Grange Copeland. Washington Square Press. 2000.
Assisted in research by Nikkala Martinez. (646)400-2584.
Assisted in editing by Omar Amin. (201)388-3081.
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