Reasons behind Lucas´ Suicide in Good Hair Essay

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There are three reasons Lucas commits suicide, and each reason teaches an important lesson to Alice. The first reason is that Lucas felt that he had no identity and did not fit in with his peers and other social groups. Secondly, Lucas was not able to commit to relationships. The final reason is that Lucas felt a lot of guilt for attempting to rape Alice. While all of these reasons negatively affected Lucas and were the reasons behind his suicide, they also taught Alice valuable lessons which allowed her to make improvements to her life. If it was not for the lessons in identity, cultural perspective, and self worth, Alice would not have been able to move forward with the changes in her life.

In the story of Good Hair, Lucas’ lack of
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Growing up, she felt that she did not fit in with the black girls who berated her on the fashions of the white magazines that she wore every day to school. It wasn’t until she started to embrace the stuck up group of girls in her school, that she could feel safe from being bullied. The notion of her childhood from her parents that the son should be smart and go to school while she should be satisfied because, “ was enough, they said, that I was pretty”. The death of Lucas allowed her to see that she had more control in figuring out where she belongs as a successful writer . In Alice’s relationship with Miles, she had to submit to his will and not live a life that was fulfilling. The pleasures and the fashion that came with Miles’ money, did not make her feel complete. In the same way, Lucas’ death teaches Alice that she should not settle on things that did not add to her self worth.

With Alice’s identity, the role of fashion has always been a factor in her family's identity for her as a child. This role of fashion and beauty is also present in her understanding of the culture of black women in the tribe. As with the example of her grandmother who was abused by her grandfather with being “a beauty”, Alice has learned from her family history that the preconceptions of what beauty is should not be something to shy away from or to use the term beauty as a way to fill the void in the way she lives her life. The lessons of identity from Lucas’
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