Character Development and Plot Analysis in Coming of Age
Coming of age in Mississippi is filled with examples of the hatred that existed between blacks and whites in the 1960's and 70's. The main
character experiences racism, but the end is filled with joy and peace. The main character is Essie Mae, who is really Anne Moody herself. She struggles through the difficulties of racism between the blacks and whites in a small town in Mississippi called Centerville. Her personality changes as her life progresses and the killing begins. Anne Moody is a smart, intelligent, black girl who sits proud on top of the world.
This work has a setting that is in central Mississippi during the 1940's through 1960's. It begins on Mr. Carter's plantation where Essie Mae and her family live. Essie Mae 's mama and dad work all the time on the farm, so Essie Mae and her little sister stay at home alone or her uncle George Lee stay with them. George used to beat Essie while her mama and dad were gone to work at the farm. After a while Essie's dad and mama separated, and Essie and her mother moved several times into different homes. Essie's mother married a man named Raymond who was a soldier. By this time Essie's mama had six children and another on the way. Anne was working for a white woman to help her family. She says, "Things seemed to get harder. Mama was always having another baby." Essie was making six dollars a week, and she tried to help her mother buy food so they wouldn't have to eat bread and water every day.
As Essie and her family struggled, there was so much killing that Essie decided to spend the summer with her uncle in New Orleans, Louisiana. While in Louisiana she got a job at a cafe. She was only fifteen and a worker had to be eighteen. However, she got the job, but she told one of her co-workers her age. The co-worker told the boss, and Essie got fired.
Essie finds out that her name is not Essie Mae, but Anne Moody. People at school still called her Moody. After high school Anne attended Natchez college, she didn't like it because it was small--only three brick, one-story buildings. She played basketball like she did in high school. Anne moved on to Toogaloo College in Toogaloo, Mississippi. There she joined the group SNCC that had been started in the Delta (Greenwood and Greenville). Moody visited Greenwood and became very active with the SNCC group. Soon she joined the NAACP and that is how she became active in the movement.
This story is written in first person point of view as the
author is telling the story about her life.. The plot is uplifting because Anne goes through lots of things, but she manages to survive. Moody wrote this bookl to entertain but also to express her feelings about growing up in Mississippi in the 1940's.
The theme is important as Anne grows up in Mississippi. The theme is about the hardship of life and how difficult life can be in the 1940's when there is lots of racism. In conclusion, I enjoyed this
book very much and believe that many people today can relate to Moody's experiences growing up in southern Mississippi. I feel that she could influence a lot of people.
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