At first glance, Dr. Brenda DoHarris’ Calabash Parkway appears to be a novel about a Guyanese woman meeting an old friend from her native land, in New York, after several years. Upon further reading, the novel has resilient records of feminism in the protagonists Agatha, Evadne, and Gwennie. The three are emasculated by poverty, neglect, and abuse. Living in a masculinized country the three women refuse to succumb to their struggles of life. These powerless characteristics of the three young women are overcome after immigrating to New York and Canada.
The first reflection of feminism is ‘Gatha’s life of poverty. “The shadow of political tyranny and economic malaise loomed over the country” (DoHarris 6)1.Those living in Guyana struggled to…show more content…
She is well aware of whom her father is, but his not willing to acknowledge of her as his daughter plagues her; “remembering the vilest human feeling of all – to be a child virtually devoid of adult love and protection” (31). She meets Compton, a Guyanese man returning to pick up his residence papers from the US Embassy, and quickly falls in love, marries him, and moves to New York where he currently resides. Dr. DoHarris expounds that:
“Not only had Evadne been able to snag a bridegroom, but she secured one who would be able to wisk her off de mudflat, thousands of miles away from the stich-by-miserable-stich existence to which she had thought she was irrevocably wed” (39).
“Nor are Evadne’s struggles in New York any less compelling than ‘Gatha’s. Indeed, in some ways, they may be more so; for Evadne’s relationship with Compton becomes complicated when his former lover Jennifer gives birth to his daughter, Joy; and when Evadne and Compton buy a house from Jennifer’s sister the complications erupt with Jennifer shooting and killing Compton” (DoHarris qtd in Birbalsingh p.131).
Gwennie, like Evadne, struggles with overcoming a past of being sexually abused, not by a stranger or distant relative, but by her father. Once leaving Guyana she never returned, not even when hearing of the death of her mother. Explaining to the narrator,
“For many years, most often when he came home drunk, my father molested me. Oh…my