Bailey’s café has a collection of different stories which touch mostly on women who are scared by the lives they are leading. The author who is Gloria Naylor who attempts to relate and imagine a number of people who had problems in the past but try to get some hope through the Eve’s house from the Bailey’s Café. The novel’s plot structure and point of view are compared and contrasted in detail in accordance to the works by Gloria Naylor.
The novel takes on magical realism qualities immediately as it starts with realistic situations. It is vital to note that Naylor indicates the Café which is not really a Café, but a metaphor which controls and provides realistic nature to the novel. When considering metaphysical terms the Café actually represents the soul of the human being which is often mandated to store the whole body functioning tools (Joseph 507). The author reveals through Bailey that it is a place where individuals go when they are in bad situations. It is a place of rest, when people get into trouble, the café as used by the author is a place of solace where they go and find peace of mind and heart. The café is therefore represented by Naylor as a place where desperate people go and endure their pain when they think they cannot continue living on earth. The similarity between the real café and the café as used in the novel on the other hand is a place that refreshes thirsty and need customers. Visiting the place therefore makes people become happy and fulfilled with all their desires.
Naylor also presents magical streets in the region that have a significant meaning to both the characters and the novel. The buildings on the street indicate individuals who feel that they are at the edge of their possessions, hence need to sell some possessions to ensure continuity of life. Possessions are being sold at Gabe’s pawnshop while others decided to sell their bodies. The bodies are sold at Eve’s bordello where different characters visit for the business operation. The author differentiates the two places in that Gabe offers directions and help for people who want to visit the café, Eve on the other hand is crucial as it gives characters a new start in life. Eve snatches the people from death and reassures them life again. Such individuals feel cherished and appreciated by being given flowers. Others are saved from themselves as it happens with Jesse Bell and later decides to do the same with Peaches. The places are of benefit to the residents as it gives them a second chance in life. Naylor makes use of the site to fit the plot structure of the novel as a whole (Hall 227).
Naylor through Bailey confirms that all the people who reach the edge of life often end up in their end of life. Such individuals are those who enter a room from the front and end up going the back door as they end up in annihilation. Such people have one answer to their suffering and that is extinction, and as such Bailey’s Café gives them the freedom to continue following after their choices in life. The darkness behind the café symbolizes death, but also can be an indication of new life where new efforts are required. Eve forces Jesse to get herself into withdrawal as she opens the backdoor of the café and shows her what she avoids and this makes her terrified. She also shows her bedroom and the bathroom she has always desired to have back at home. All these instances indicate the café’s back door as a path to renewal and change. In contrast it is also a place to destruction as it gives people their past memories which most of them have decided not to remember so as to continue with life’s provisions. Such memories make individuals to focus on their past rather than the future which ought to make their life better than before (Hunter 249).
Jesse asks Eve where she is and she is told that she is in Hell; this is in response to her past experiences, present problems and future dilemma. Hell is used to denote being unsure of what the future or the present holds. It only has the past which is often lingering on the minds of the characters through the work. Eve is an epitome of change as she makes most of the characters realize their journey and try to follow after those things they like. Jesse clings to the door to ensure a void nature for purposes of making a decision between death and life. The author has used Eve and Jesse to indicate the paradigm of decisions when in life and the resulting decisions that usually follow when people are oppressed in the present situation. They desire to disappear and die because of their prevailing circumstances. Life of the other hand is seen as the best option as the characters end up making a decision of living and making changes to themselves and others in the society. This is clearly indicated from the memories of Jesse who goes into different rooms of her dreams and later makes a decision to live.
Naylor does not allow people to pretend that life is easy, but rather indicates the true nature of life as it is even for a baby born miraculously. The author shows the naming ceremony of a baby which makes him both Jewish and black. The baby is later taken away from the mother and led to a different place which has a future that is not certain. Bailey on the other hand has an apology to make because he is not able to give a happier ending as the novel is finished by Naylor by saying that life will continue. Bailey attributes such a statement to the human spirit and confirms that it always goes on notwithstanding the place.
Naylor’s work makes Bailey to be seen as the main protagonist who ensures continuity of all the work in the novel. He is made to stand in the counter and try to understand other people as they fight and get puzzled with life. Bailey always wanted to know how other people felt and this is clearly indicated by his curiosity towards Morrison whom employed his parents. He also seen as living in guilt as he contemplates about his interests after the atomic bomb dropped. Although he is portrayed as being strong he is also fighting against his past which indicates various bruises and heartaches which he had to go though. The plot is thus presented through the use of Bailey who can be described as the main character in the novel.
The jam in the novel presents characters that are represented in a straight manner, and they are introduced by Bailey and then left to give their personal information to different people who desire listen to them. In contrast Naylor tells the stories in Mariam through the use of other people. The character is introduced by the silent Nadine and recollects the background information of her mother as she was thrown out of their home because she was born a girl and left to fend for herself. Naylor therefore decides which characters to build and those that can build themselves. The work of Naylor is a depiction of family struggles where families try hard to make successful endings from positions of poverty and problems.
In conclusion, the framework Naylor has created in the novel indicates some reason and hope to live. The author presents some important facets in life that most people should follow to ensure success and a testimony after different attacks in their past. She makes a connection between reality and vagueness by placing different objects to look real. The world of her character is filled with cruelty and hopelessness, but they are later introduced to a life of hope where they desire to make changes to their life a whole. As such the contrast of the worlds of those characters was also filled with love and beauty. This is clearly indicated by Sadie’s house which is pretty and the New Orleans gardens which have different beautiful flowers. The flowers are loved by Eve who also introduces other people to the love that they should have in anticipation of success in their lives.
Hall, Chekita Trennel. “The blues as a paradigm of cultural resistance in the works of Gloria Naylor.” ProQuest Dissertations and Theses 1995 227-227: p.
Hunter, William R. “The quilting of culture: The depiction of African American community in the novels of Gloria Naylor.” ProQuest Dissertations and Theses 1993 249-249: p.
Joseph, Jonathan. “Critical Realism: Essential Readings.” Historical Materialism 2001: 507-517. Print.
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