Thursday, November 7, 2019
Ann Petrys Mrs. Hedges from The Streer essays
Ann Petry's Mrs. Hedges from The Streer essays Ann Petrys Mrs. Hedges: A Challenger Appears from the Confines of Disabled Femininity Throughout The Street Ann Petry thematically examines the possibility of coexistence between the maintenance of personal virtue and morality with the achievement of the capitalistic successes of the American Dream. This is evident in Luties vice grip onto virtue and her dualistic violent slaying of Boots, but is especially poignant the prostitution profiteer Mrs. Hedges. She is constantly portrayed in a dual manner, as she is the embodiment of the achievement of the American dream and the degradation of women, virtue and community. Remaining in Petrys neutrality as to the morality of prostitution, Mrs. Hedges presents herself as a denunciator and deconstructionist to the ideal that feminine success is reliant upon an overwhelming presence of corporeal beauty with an absence of strength and determination. Mrs. Hedges is presented from the onset of the novel as a persistent, resourceful, snake eyed, very black, and an enormous bulk of a woman.(Petry 5-6) She is the antithesis of the slim, European pedagogue of beauty of white America exposed through Luties former employer, Mrs. Chandler. Her lack of conformation to the unattainable and unmistakably white ideal of physical attractiveness is most tangible in the scene in which she reveals the history of her physical aberrations. In escaping though the window of her flame engulfed apartment Mrs. Hedges secured sever burns over most of her dark bulky body. During her plight she was however most concerned with protecting her beauty and attractiveness, as she tried to keep her face covered with her hands, so that she couldnt see what she was heading into, so that she could keep the flame from her face. (Petry 244) It is tempting to interpret her face covering as an attempt to keep smoke from her eyes, but it is apparent that...
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