Reflections On Eva's Man

couldntthinkofanoriginalname's picture

I loved reading Eva's Man and really enjoyed trying to figure out the character, Eva. However, as I read, I found myself more amused, perhaps this is not the best word, with her story than feeling bad for her. I know pity was not the intention of the author, but I do think I should have felt something  for Eva. As I read the disturbing encounters Eva had with the men in the book, I couldn't help but sympathize with the guys, whether it was the nasty little boy with the dirty popsicle stick or the disturbed old man in the hallway. What were the stories of the males? What made them act this way? Who or what hurt them in the past that led them to act out their personal abuse?

I know in our class discussion we focused part of the conversation on Eva being the victim and, while that is true, I see all characters involved as victims in the sense that they all are apart of a cycle of abuse that goes on in cultures, communities, etc. Lets be real, I find it hard to believe that a young boy wakes up and goes, "I am going to fuck this girl with a popsicle stick today." Therefore, it is important to recognize that although Eva's Man is a great book, whole stories are not captured and, perhaps, can't be captured.

With that said I think there is a larger conversation to be had about this book. One that touches upon male's oppression, sexism and internalized sexism in the African-American culture or just in general. I know that I would like to personally explore why I was so quick to sympathize with the men than Eva. Am I not in touch with my woman-y side? Am I not patient with women's feelings? In sympathizing with the men am I care-taking?

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Owl's picture

I couldn't agree with you

I couldn't agree with you more! I especially found myself thinking about the "cycle of abuse that goes on in cultures, communities, etc." when Eva talks about her relationship with James, her much older husband, and the fact that he had killed a man over a woman. I couldn't help but see his aversion to telephones, for example, as a way to make sure he could keep this woman (Eva) and not have to deal with the same situation he had previously.

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