Critical Essay On Roselily

Critical Essay On Roselily-61
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This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of , “Roselily” concerns a poor African American woman who considers marrying a man she barely knows as a way of escaping a life of poverty.

The story is divided into eleven sections of prose, and atop each section there is a segment from a minister’s wedding proclamation: “Dearly beloved / we are gathered here / in the sight of God / to join this man and this woman / in holy matrimony / If there’s anybody here that knows a reason why / these two should not be joined / together, / let him speak / or forever hold / his peace.” The idea behind this structure is to jump into the protagonist Roselily’s mind and to depict what she’s thinking at each of the eleven sections of the minister’s proclamation.

He was a Harvard graduate and worker in the Civil Rights Movement who fathered a fourth child with her, a son.

But after tiring of a less elite existence in rural Mississippi, the man returned to New England and brought her son with him.

Although she works two jobs–picking cotton in the fields and sewing in a factory–she is a single mother of three children, and her paltry wages are not nearly enough to support the four of them as a family.

Opportunity arises, however, when she meets a Black Muslim from Chicago who is a member of the Nation of Islam.

She worries about having to cover her head and sit far away from her future husband when they go to their place of worship.

In all, this groom is a much less desirable her choice than the last opportunity for escape she had.

Through these sections, we learn about Roselily, her impoverished life, and her prospective unnamed groom.

Roselily resides in the small, run-down rural community of Panther Burn, Mississippi, where she’s lived her entire life.


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