Book Reports / Zami

Zami

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Autor:  anton  26 November 2010
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Words: 1098   |   Pages: 5
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Fitting In

In the biomythography, Zami, by Audre Lorde, Lorde uses specific scenes to highlight arguments running throughout the text. The epilogue is Lorde’s reflection on her life and emphasizes many of her struggles and ideals about life. Lorde uses this final place in the book to show the reader how her journey throughout life gave her the ability to define a home. This passage emphasizes that Lorde faced many hardships, especially the challenges of self-integration. Lorde, was a minority in every group that she belonged to. Because of this, Lorde had trouble with both fitting in and defining herself; it was not until Lorde became confident in being different that she could find a true home.

The fact that Lorde faces so many hardships throughout the novel, results in her inability to gain self-confidence and therefore integrate. In the beginning of the novel, the reader sees Lorde as a loner; it is not until she meets women who influence her life that she begins to self-integrate. As a child, Lorde does not have many friends. She is isolated and feels that she is very different from those around her. She spends a lot of time with her mother, who she feels does not understand her, or allows her to meet a support network. Lorde’s mother’s isolation is one example of someone does not understand her lifestyle and therefore cannot giver her support. This is a form of discrimination, and one of the hardships that Audre faced her in adolescence and will continue to face for the rest of her life. It is not until see meets women that can relate to her life style that she feels she become a more complete person: “Recreating in words the women who helped give me substance” (255). As Lorde begins to meet friends and lovers alike she has a support network where she begins to feel as though these women influence her life and therefore give her substance. Lorde even states that these women are somewhat of providers for her: “Their names, selves, faces, feed me like corn before labor” (256). In this quote, Lorde shows the reader that she is fed, or kept alive and well because of the people of these women. The word fed points to this being a need. She has become the person that she is because of the people that she has met along the way. She takes the good and leaves the bad to define and integrate herself into society and into her own idea of home.

Lorde was a minority in every group that she belonged to, and although she gained support and began to have the ability to self-integrate, she still faced hardships through discrimination. Lorde’s feeling that she did not belong completely runs throughout the book: “The ‘time’ when I would have to protect myself alone, although I did not know how or when. For Flee and me, the forces of social evil were not theoretical, not long distance nor solely bureaucratic” (205). Here Lorde is pointing out that her struggle is not solely one of a lesbian. Lorde is a double minority in this case because she is a black and a lesbian. This point to the argument in the text as a whole, that Lorde is still a minority even in her own groups, for example, she is even a minority in her own family (the only lesbian) and therefore Lorde’s battle of integration did not end at her finding a group of friends.. This emphasizes Lorde’s argument that throughout the book, she lives in houses, but never has a home. Lorde, being a double and sometimes even triple minority continues to experience hardship throughout the book. On page 255, Lorde again looks to her friends and lovers as a network of support. “And in those years my life had become increasingly a bridge and field of women” (255). Lorde uses the word “bridge” as a mode of transportation over the hardships and back to the road to self-integration. This “bridge” also is a path to the future where Lorde is able to fully integrate into society and find herself. Finding herself through integration and through her support network of women Lorde shows the reader how she is building a home for herself.

Lorde has gained confidence through these relationships, which in turn let her move on from the idea of her mother’s home in Carriacou, through her hardships and network of friends, Lorde comes to understand that it is only when she embraces her difference that she will truly have a home. Lorde’s support network is what gave her the confidence to express herself. In this self-expression, Lorde began to not only integrate but come to the realization that her difference is what makes her free: “I choose these words with the same grave concern with which I choose to push speech into poetry, the mattering core, the forward visions of all our lives” (256). This shows Lorde’s ability to see into the future, and past the idea of discrimination. The word “choose” is used twice in this quote. This emphasizes Lorde’s choice. She now feels that she is in control of her life and therefore she has integrated, become independent and found a home. lorde’s home is no longer the idea of Carriacou, but instead is defined by the journey that lead her to self discovery: “Once home was a long way off, a place I had never been to but knew out of my mother’s mouth. I only discovered its latitudes when Carriacou was no longer my home” (256). This emphasizes Lorde’s argument that Carriacou was an idea not a place, and once she came to terms with herself, and her differences, she did not need this idea of home anymore, and she found that her home right here.

Lorde’s experiences with women have shaped her life. Lorde has discovered who she is and where she fits into society through all of the relationships with women that she has had. In overcoming the hardships, that society has placed on her because of her minority status she has defined herself as different. Lorde embraces her differences from society and therefore is able to integrate, find freedom and therefore settle into her home.



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