Intergenerational Victimization Essay

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Intergenerational Victimization Every year, over 1.3 million women experience physical abuse by an intimate partner (“Domestic”). In the civilized American society, domestic abuse appears to be a barbaric custom. Yet, to many women in America, it is a harsh reality. Like racism, domestic abuse operates on oppression and the desire for dominance. Both are horrific practices prominent across the world and evident throughout history. Alice Walker, an African American author and activist, who grew up in the South, witnessed the effects of domestic violence and racism firsthand. Both domestic violence and racism are cyclical practices that play a prominent role in Walker’s debut novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland. Under the domination of white men in the sharecropping system, Grange Copeland begins the pattern of domestic abuse, eventually driving his wife to commit suicide. The cycle continues with Grange’s son, Brownfield, as he brutally abuses his wife and children—murdering his wife in the end. Ruth, Brownfield’s daughter, is able to beat the odds and break the sequence of domestic abuse and racism. Several factors prompt the victimization of women illustrated throughout the novel. The main force is the need for male dominance and power, a desire that results from societal oppression (racism), which the African American men face in the South. All of the characters victimized by racism, as well as domestic violence, are negatively impacted. Yet, the novel emphasizes that by avoiding oppression, one may escape violence and victimization. Throughout The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Walker illustrates how the cyclical concepts of domestic violence and racism are related. Domestic abuse occurs in families of diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic levels; it does not discriminate. Dominance and power are the forces that drive domestic abuse
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