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Comparing Female Protagonists in That Evening Sun and A Field of Wheat

Decent Essays
In Faulkner's "That Evening Sun" and Ross's "A Field of Wheat", we see both female protagonists victimized by their environment. In "That Evening Sun", we see Nancy as a victim of the racially discriminatory environment of the South in the early 1900's. In A "Field of Wheat", Martha falls victim to her natural environment and the wrath that nature plays in her life and the life of her family. In each story, the reader feels a sense of despair in both women. I will attempt to show that the environment in which they live contributes to their despair.

Living in the South during the early 1900's was difficult for Nancy. During this era, racial discrimination against blacks was at a peak and the separation of white and black
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"When white man want to come in my house, I ain't got no house." (196). This is a powerful statement informing the reader that the white man has supreme authority over the black population and we see this over and over throughout the story. Jesus does not have the power to stop a white man from raping Nancy. He must accept the fact that a white man can do what ever he wants to a black person.

Nancy is portrayed as a desperate soul. She becomes scared that Jesus is going to kill her and does not think she will be safe on her own. In her statement to Quintin "I ain't nothing but a nigger, it ain't none of my fault." (197), Nancy is telling him that she has no choice being pregnant. She is black, she was born black and because of this, she does what a white man tells her to do. Nancy becomes scared that Jesus is going to kill her and does not think she will be safe on her own. Nancy's fear of Jesus is justified. Jesus knows that he cannot harm the man who made Nancy pregnant and Nancy believes Jesus will take it out on her. She knows if anything happened to her, nobody would be punished for it. Nancy feels the only way she will be safe is to be surrounded by the Compsons, a white family. Jesus would not harm her in front of white people, not even the children; but no matter how hard Nancy tries to convince the Compsons she is in harms way, they are indifferent to Nancy's fear and
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