Discovery of one’s own inner self has been the key theme of many tales and has remained as a learning lighthouse for centuries. Whether it is the darkness spread by the social evil in a society or it is the emotional context between several aspects of life that depict love and happiness, the eyes of a writer or a poet capture it. Therefore, the picturesque imagery of a life impacting theme cannot be as good depicted by a writer because it allows a self-learning experience without facing those hardships and moments of oppression. This paper will look into the experiences as adapted from The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris, which is a non-fictional novel and is primarily a memoir of a young girl and her struggle with self realization in the society.
Michele’s memoir included granular details about how her father who was a war veteran, moved into the society of whites and how she realized that it could be hard to be accepted socially just because of one’s skin color. She mentions that "Slowly all the houses close to ours were either rented or sold to black families while the previous owners moved to white enclaves." . This is real naturalism and bitter truth of our society; she grows to face various challenges during her childhood and she sees how difficult it becomes for her father to even arrange basic education for her amidst those situations.
Arguably, the fight for equality may be an important aspect or aim for the life of various brave citizens like Michele’s father however from a juvenile’s psychology it was still a very complex theme to understand. She mentions that “The way black veterans had fought in the war overseas and won, they had now envisioned actual democracy back home.", which means that while she grew up she saw what happened with her father and later lost both anger and hope while she mentioned that “I should have not been sensitive, I should have been a woman who makes people get afraid.”
There have been various books written on color differentiation and over the last one century, there appears to be a significant change in the social settings that are far more neutral then to what they were however still, somewhere there is always a Michele who has struggled and have seen those times that were different and hence it may have been a tale of the old times however still it can make our eyes moist with those emotions, which we may have never felt however ironically we all have experienced at some time.
Good or bad may not be a possible definition for the above however when Michele grows up she becomes a fine writer in our country. Somewhere down the line the efforts need to be take the direction where there are many who grow up strong and successful like Michele however there shouldn’t be a Michele who spends her childhood embedded with constantly changing dilemma about herself, the identity and the color as it should be the positivism which should help in self realizations and not unwanted experiences that leave a scar on the soul.
Norris, Michele. The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir. New York: Vintage Books, 2010.