Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Devil- Easy's House

Easy's motivation for taking Albright's offer stems from his desire to keep his home. He is willing to do anything to be able to pay his mortgage. He personifies his house as being his wife, "but that house meant more to [him] than any woman [he] ever knew. [He] loved her and was jealous of her and if the bank sent the county marshal to take her from [him he] might have come at him with a rifle rather than to give her up"(56-57). Owning property is his self-proclaimed greatest accomplishment and represents his independence. He dreams of buying more property, enhancing his freedom from white oppression against which he struggles all his life (e.g. in the war). He finally attains a feeling of security at the end of the novel when he is able to realize this dream.
Easy's intense love for his home is perhaps rooted in his past, living on a sharecropper's farm in Houston. The presence of lush vegetation is reminiscent of a farm. However, this contrasts the sharecrop because the flowers and fruit that Easy grows are a product of his own land.
The depiction of Easy's home as being floral and charming seems to be in conflict with the setting of Watts. After 1940, Watts was a predominantly black neighborhood containing large housing projects. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts%2C_Los_Angeles%2C_California)
Easy's house is not big, but it brings him comfort. Perhaps his perception of his home is skewed because of what he was used to in Texas. It is like the idealized version of LA that brought Easy to the city, but even though his living standard is raised, he is still at the bottom of society. "California was like heaven for the Southern Negro. People told stories of how you could eat fruit right off the trees and get enough work to retire one day. The stories were true for the most part but the truth wasn't like the dream."(72)

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