The Street Brought The Story Of A Young Woman

900 WordsMay 1, 20154 Pages
In 1946, Ann Petry’s novel The Street brought the story of a young woman’s spirited struggle to break the cycle of poverty, violence and racism. Racism has long been a major force in the lives of black men and women; Lutie Johnson’s journey conveys just how powerful of a force racism is. Lutie Johnson is characterized by the prevalence of racial and gender discriminations; Ann Petry contrasts Lutie’s with the reality behind Miss Rinner’s hatred for blacks. Lutie Johnson is a young black woman living in Harlem, who strives to break the cycle of poverty and violence for her Bub. As a single female living in the 1940s, societal ideals assume that Lutie will never be as successful as her male counterpart. Lutie went to work for the Chandler family so that she could provide her own family with necessary funds; subsequently, she worked hard to send all of her earnings home to her family. Meanwhile, her husband Jim slept with another woman, he justified his behavior by arguing that Lutie should have seen it coming. Mrs. Pizzini reiterates this forewarning by stating, “Not good for the women to work when she’s young. Not good for the man”(Petry 53). Gender stereotypes create a cycle that accepts the deceptive behavior of men in the light of men being superior to women. Correspondingly, when men are between jobs, sometime the women step in to take care of household funding. With their wife out of the house many men seek the comfort of a mistress, rationalizing divorce. Frequently,

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