How is Ifemelu different from a typical ROM-COM Heroine?

Ifemelu is definitely different from a typical rom-com heroine. She is not one to back down and let a significant other do all the work for her. She prides herself in being an independant woman and fighting her own battles. She is also living in a long distance relationship. She is living in America, while her significant other is back at home in Nigeria. They have put up with many years of silence between one another which definitely is unlike how a romantic couple typically acts.

She is also not the “stereotypical black woman” as well. She lives in the wealthy neighborhood of Princeton, she goes to school and she was the writer of a successful blog. She also refuses to relax her hair like people in her culture are supposed to. She travels to the town of Trenton to have her hair braided. Which is something she takes great pride in.

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What is the Significance of Efem’s Blog?

Personally, I think the significance of Efem’s blog is to express her views through writing. She is trying to bring light to the racism and harsh opinions on the black community through her blog. Like it says in the story, she would interview random people she met on public transportation and get their opinions on what was going on in the world.

This is significant because they weren’t just her opinions they were the opinions of many people that she had met in her travels so they were real opinions and not just her own. This made the issues of racism more real in a sense that there were a ton of people acknowledging it.

Writing Workshop 3/9

“Both Josue and Maina fall into the trap of stereotypical gender roles and let their masculinity get the best of them when faced with situations that test their limits.”

In my paper I am arguing that both Josue and Maina are allowing their stereotypical gender roles to cause their demise. Both of these stories do not end well. One ends in a death by a duel while the other ends with a castration. Both of these deaths could have been avoided, but both men are worried more about their reputation than their actual life and their safety. I feel like they both end in similar ways and have similar story lines so I thought these two would be the best stories to write about since it would keep a nice flow of the paper.

Both of the men in each story affect their relationships with their wives because they are so caught up in these stereotypical gender roles. Josue’s wife tells him not to duel with Scipio, he does it anyway. Maina refuses to tell his wife that he has lost his job which results in him sneaking around and lying to her. Both of the men ended in living very unhealthy relationships up until the points of their demise.

Gender, Men and Masculinities

“Role Theory” is a theory of society based on the power of custom and social conformity. This theory can hold true for both the male characters in “Retrenched” and “The Way of the Machete.”

Both of the male characters feel as though they are very entitled and like they need to be in control due to their genders. For example, in Retrenched when the male character loses his job, he begins to just spiral out of control. He goes out and starts gambling, spending money, being secretive and never truly tells his wife the truth. This is because he needs to feel like he is in control. The man is supposed to be the one who is able to provide for the family and now that he is in no position to do so, he feels like he has nothing and cannot offer anything. This is why he lies to his family and starts to be sneaky.

The same holds true for “The Way of the Machete,” when challenged to a duel the male lead feels as though he cannot back down. Men are supposed to be brave and “macho” and he doesn’t want the other people of the village to think that he is afraid of a duel. Although his wife does tell him that she doesn’t think it is a good idea, he doesn’t listen because than man is supposed to be in charge and he doesn’t have to listen to his wife.

“The Third and Final Continent”

In the beginning of the story we see the narrator pack their bags and move away from their home country of India. They sailed across the sea and finally made it to England where they would begin their new life.

Throughout the story the narrator spends time with an older woman named Mrs. Croft. He realizes that she is well over 100 years old and starts to become sad and a little mortified. They say that they hate to see Mrs. Croft so vulnerable. This even causes some second hand embarrassment from her for the narrator.

One instance that truly scarred the narrator was the nights where he lie on the side of the bed opposite Mrs. Croft and she would cry to him because she missed her parents. Since he too was far away from his family and had a similar experience he was able to feel compassionate towards her. It was hard for him to hear and see her so upset like that and not be able to do anything.

This instance made him become more close with the landlady as well as his wife. He wanted to be there for both of them, so that they both knew they had someone and they weren’t truly alone.