Essay, Research Paper: Eva's Man

World Literature

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While reading the novel Eva’s Man, written by Gayle Jones, an evident theme is
established. This is a twisted story of love and betrayal in the engrossing
psychological portrait of Eva Medina Canada. The author intertwines recollection
of actual events and imaginativeness to expose an existence plagued by sexual
and emotional revilement. It is a narrative which will definitely remain in
one’s mind, long after the cover of the book has been closed. The apparent
theme in Eva’s Man appears to be “ a deepened exploration of the woman’s
inner life: of the pressures, the cruelties, and the imposed
expectations”( 1). In this book, Eva has more sexual knowledge then most
girls her age. She grows up in an environment where she is sexually harassed by
people whom she respects and is supposed to look up to. Eva turns out to be a
very confused soul in her later years. The novel jumps from one story to
another. It seems apparent that she is telling the story, because some of her
statements are facts and others are events she fantasized. In the present sense
of the narrative, Eva is imprisoned for the peculiar murder of her lover, Davis,
and recalling the events that lead up to his murder..though in no particular
order. Though the story may seem bizarre, Eva actually falls into the cliché of
the minds of women incarcerated for murder. For example, “women offenders are
more likely to kill a lover than other victim categories”(DOCS 1). Davis was
Eva’s lover; a freaky one at that. Another common characteristic of women
murderers is a history of abuse. “It is estimated that from 40 to Arias 2 78
percent of women who killed their husbands or boyfriends were abused”(DOCS 1).
Davis was a very controlling man. He always denied Eva’s wishes and kept her
in a locked up room like she was a dog. Furthermore, the age group to which Eva
falls is just another similarity to the common attributes which are displayed.
“..the average female incarcerated for murder was 35 or older..”(DOCS 2).
Eva was 35 in this novel. In essence, the story seems to be an ironically
twisted imitation of today’s statistics. It is the best way of showing the
cruelties women face which directs to the theme of Eva’s Man. Another of the
substantial objectives the theme of the novel tries to imply is the pressure
women face in a male-dominated society. In the book, men are definitely
portrayed negatively. Women have no mind of their own; men control them. The men
sexually and emotionally repress the women in the book. An example of this is
Eva’s cousin, Alfonso. He constantly pressures her to have sexual encounters
with him and puts her down as well as makes her feel like he is her boss..the
ultimate authority over her. This happens with every relationship Eva, or any
other woman in the story, faces. Men say, “Jump!!”. Women say, “How
high?”. It’s absolutely pathetic and demoralizing. In addition to cruelty
and pressure being imposed on women, another noticeable point of the book is to
show how imposed expectations can corrupt someone. Eva was always expected to be
courteous and respect everyone, and the fact that these people she was supposed
to respect mistreated her polluted her morality and soul. Eventually she bursted,
and ended up committing a heinous crime. It almost foreshadows the solecism of
mankind. All in all, Eva’s Man, by Gayle Jones, had a theme which proved to be
clear and evident... it is a view of feminism, and how women are badly treated
by men. The story carefully follows the depiction of a nice woman, turned
psychopath, over the emotional and sexual abuse Arias 3 she has encountered
throughout her 35 years of existence. The author twists reality and fantasy to
keep the reader interested and involved. A woman can definitely feel the sense
of pain Eva went through, even though this particular feeling isn’t a good
one. It actually makes one despise men!! In nature, the theme of the story was
apparent yet somewhat discomforting.

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