Feminism/ Eva's Man Theme term paper 11126

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The Theme Behind the Novel

While reading the novel Eva’s Man, written by Gayle Jones, an evident theme is established. This is a twisted story of love and betrayal in the engrossing psychological portrait of Eva Medina Canada. The author intertwines recollection of actual events and imaginativeness to expose an existence plagued by sexual and emotional revilement. It is a narrative which will definitely remain in one’s mind, long after the cover of the book has been closed. The apparent theme in Eva’s Man appears to be “ a deepened exploration of the woman’s inner life: of the pressures, the cruelties, and the imposed expectations”(bn.com 1).

In this book, Eva has more sexual knowledge then most girls her age. She grows up in an environment where she is sexually harassed by people whom she respects and is supposed to look up to. Eva turns out to be a very confused soul in her later years. The novel jumps from one story to another. It seems apparent that she is telling the story, because some of her statements are facts and others are events she fantasized. In the present sense of the narrative, Eva is imprisoned for the peculiar murder of her lover, Davis, and recalling the events that lead up to his murder..though in no particular order.

Though the story may seem bizarre, Eva actually falls into the cliché of the minds of women incarcerated for murder. For example, “women offenders are more likely to kill a lover than other victim categories”(DOCS 1). Davis was Eva’s lover; a freaky one at that. Another common characteristic of women murderers is a history of abuse. “It is estimated that from 40 to

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78 percent of women who killed their husbands or boyfriends were abused”(DOCS 1). Davis was a very controlling man. He always denied Eva’s wishes and kept her in a locked up room like she was a dog. Furthermore, the age group to which Eva falls is just another similarity to the common attributes which are displayed. “..the average female incarcerated for murder was 35 or older..”(DOCS 2). Eva was 35 in this novel. In essence, the story seems to be an ironically twisted imitation of today’s statistics. It is the best way of showing the cruelties women face which directs to the theme of Eva’s Man.

Another of the substantial objectives the theme of the novel tries to imply is the pressure women face in a male-dominated society. In the book, men are definitely portrayed negatively. Women have no mind of their own; men control them. The men sexually and emotionally repress the women in the book. An example of this is Eva’s cousin, Alfonso. He constantly pressures her to have sexual encounters with him and puts her down as well as makes her feel like he is her boss..the ultimate authority over her. This happens with every relationship Eva, or any other woman in the story, faces. Men say, “Jump!!”. Women say, “How high?”. It’s absolutely pathetic and demoralizing.

In addition to cruelty and pressure being imposed on women, another noticeable point of the book is to show how imposed expectations can corrupt someone. Eva was always expected to be courteous and respect everyone, and the fact that these people she was supposed to respect mistreated her polluted her morality and soul. Eventually she bursted, and ended up committing a heinous crime. It almost foreshadows the solecism of mankind.

All in all, Eva’s Man, by Gayle Jones, had a theme which proved to be clear and evident... it is a view of feminism, and how women are badly treated by men. The story carefully follows the depiction of a nice woman, turned psychopath, over the emotional and sexual abuse

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she has encountered throughout her 35 years of existence. The author twists reality and fantasy to keep the reader interested and involved. A woman can definitely feel the sense of pain Eva went through, even though this particular feeling isn’t a good one. It actually makes one despise men!! In nature, the theme of the story was apparent yet somewhat discomforting.


Jones, Gayle

Word Count: 686


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