The fresh Mama Day by Gloria Naylor explores both the intriguing relationship between a immature metropolis male child and a culturally baffled miss. George and Ophelia. and the simple yet supernatural life of an old. wise adult female on an stray island wholly detached from the civilised universe around her. Ophelia. or Cocoa. becomes a nexus between the helter-skelter universe and bunco and hustle of the mainland and the life of Willow Springs that connects her into a cultural and much different individuality. The scene of a novel and the distinguishable portraiture of the clip. topographic point. and environment of what is happening are frequently indispensable to the apprehension of the true kernel of a novel. In this instance. the component of the scene is most of import to the novel as a whole. set uping the evidences for the several diverse positions and “realities” for Naylor’s important characters. The importance of puting within Mama Day is shown through the graphic description of the island of Willow Springs. the usage of New York City as an opposing universe to that of the cultural island. and the distinguishable environment and boundaries that are created sing the religious “other topographic point. ”
The island of Willow Springs becomes a topographic point throughout the book that is really existent and full of life for its dwellers. even though it realistically does non even exist. The first individual narrative by George becomes the footing for the outside word picture of Willow Springs. and his deficiency of cognition and connexion to the island brings about a critical position for the reader. George becomes cognizant of the alone facets of the island and reveals some of the most cultural and religious parts of its being. “My intuitions were confirmed when we drove over that rickety wooden span: you had non prepared me for paradise…I had to be at that place and see- no. feel- that I was come ining another universe. Where of all time the word Eden failed one time I crossed over The Sound…how do I depict air that thickens so that is seems every bit solid as the H2O. doing colourss and sounds and textures to really drift in it? ” ( p. 175 ) George recognizes the beauty of the quaint. hereditary. slow-paced. and traditional life of the slightly “un-westernized” island. Those that unrecorded and are a portion of Willow Springs sometimes seem unable to recognize that beauty within the simpleness.
There is something about Willow Springs that Mama Day knows continues to convey Cocoa back to- “Home. You can travel off from it. but you ne’er leave it. Not every bit long as it holds something to be missed. ” ( p. 50 ) The puting created of Willow Springs is besides alone because non merely is the continuance of the book a flashback from the present. but it seems as if the book could easy take topographic point in a clip period much earlier because of the simple and traditional manner of the people. The island had non seemed to alter that significantly since over a century before when the topographic point was founded. The yearss of 1823 were long gone. nevertheless. the civilization of the clip still left a historical spirit on Willow Springs and its people. Emphasis is besides placed on the deficiency of a demand for clip. Life exists more around the lives of the people and the changing of the seasons. instead than life by the clock as the people “beyond the bridge” are said to. “Living in a topographic point like Willow Springs. it’s sorta easy to bury about clip. Guess ’cause the biggest thing it does is to convey about alteration and nil much alterations here but the seasons. ” ( p. 160 ) the scene is most of import for understanding the true repose and world of Willow Springs.
Peoples are in changeless communicating with one another because the island is so little. and word spreads rapidly the manner people gossip. Naylor makes elements of the puting really vivid and natural. and images of the butterflies. woody woods. and cryptic cemetery seem more than existent to the reader. Culturally. the environment of Willow Springs is one in its ain. Mama Day uses herbal medical specialty to maintain people good. others use supernatural juju and dark forces. and ceremonials like Candle Walk conveying these people together to honour ascendants that came over as slaves. The cultural scene of this island is responsible for puting these alone people apart the most and making the captivating universe that Willow Springs is for the reader. The span is of import within the scene because it exists as a symbol throughout the book. non merely physically linking Willow Springs to the mainland but demoing the distinguishable separation and passage between the two universes. For George and Cocoa. the span was a true nexus and Cocoa knew that “any summer we crossed over that span would be the summer we crossed over. ” ( p. 165 )
Yet another important scene within Mama Day is that of New York City and the structured. helter-skelter universe beyond the span into Willow Springs. The ways and people of Willow Springs exist at a complete contrast to the natural. peaceful. and slow-paced life on the island. George. a New York native. puts a batch of penetration onto the life that he has had turning up in “all the unbelievable infinite. ” ( p. 98 ) The environment and people of New York are all that George has of all time known and he eventually comes to a great realisation about this life that he has had. “Standing at that place under and over all that unbelievable infinite. I saw how little and cramped my life had been…I had told Mama Day I knew New York- God. what a sap I had been. ” ( p. 98 ) The outside word picture of New York and the busy American life by Mama Day relays the stereotyped position that is common of big metropoliss. particularly those such as New York City. “New York City is full of con creative persons. Muggers. cutpurses. and God knows what else? Why didn’t Cocoa come place and acquire herself a hubby. person she could swear? ” ( p. 132 )
Naylor does non at any point say that Willow Springs or New York life is better than the other. nevertheless. a great affinity for the ways of Willow Springs is held by all of the important characters in some manner. Mama Day sat watching American talk shows and could merely inquire the daftness that lied beyond the lone topographic point she had of all time truly lived. Cocoa found herself able to acquire off from Willow Springs. but she besides found herself with an fond regard to the topographic point that she could non assist but return to. George developed an interesting attractive force to Willow Springs largely because of the unbelievable history and civilization that the island was home to. particularly because of his ain stray. detached childhood. Because of the busy life style that most metropolis inhabitants have. life tallies rapidly by the clock and George was forced to do a great passage when he attempted to go accustomed to the life of his married woman and her household. The portraiture of the scene of New York City and Manhattan is most of import in bing as a topographic point of utmost comparing to the universe of Willow Springs. and the people that are in the “gray area” between both of these isolated. alone topographic points are an built-in nexus between the modern universe and traditional ways.
A concluding important scene that is a portion of Naylor’s novel is that of the “other topographic point. ” the little. privy subdivision of the island that was an highly of import religious topographic point to Mama Day. As the fresh returns. a kind of boundary seems to be created around this topographic point. keeping in the sometimes awful liquors that lone Mama Day seemed to confront and maintaining out those that merely were non able to understand the deep lineage with which the topographic point was full. The “other place” is of import to the novel because the enigma of this topographic point holds a great part of the civilization of Willow Springs. Mama Day identifies herself with the history and fable that both the cemetery and the old house contain. nevertheless she still is non able to hold on it all at points. “No comfort in that cemetery for Miranda tonight. She heads on toward the other topographic point. but her stairss are slow and halting…Nobody. imbibe or sober. would come this far into the west forests at dark. It’s excessively near the other place…It’s an old house with a large garden that’s all. ” ( p. 117 ) The boundaries of the “other place” are a really existent portion of Willow Springs. but. in add-on. this topographic point represents a much deeper facet of the island and symbolizes the of import lineage of the Willow Springs dwellers.
Gloria Naylor’s fresh Mama Day efficaciously creates a really existent topographic point of Willow Springs for the reader. The fresh exists in the modern twenty-four hours. nevertheless the traditional and sometimes antique ways frequently pull the reader into yearss of a much earlier clip. Most significantly. the differing scenes created throughout the book are the footing for the great and alone spirit of Willow Springs that is captured by the reader.