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The book “Through the Eyes of My Mullato Daughter” is an enchanting and highly complex story of an interracial family that was faced by hardships that came with living in the southern parts of America which is a mainly white country side. The story focus on the struggles and life of Britany, the daughter of Richard and Marylyn. Richard being a white man fell in love with Marylyn a woman of color, this choice of couple was not liked at all in the south. It is important to understand that back then, white supremacy was strong while racism was common. Verbal and physical abuse over people of color was a common thing in that era. The book introduces many events and characters who are significant in the life of Britany and her struggles with the patrons of Ebony’s Eyes home.
The passage in the beginning of the book shows the moment when Britanyshowed up home only to find out that her father has been murdered. The only person who was at home during that time was her mother and the lately deceased father. Racismplaysa sharp role in this part of the novel, considering there is a murder case in one hand, and the mother being of black ancestry on the other hand, So the blame is automatically putted on her. Looking at the level of hostility that Marylynreceived before and even after the death of her husband,wouldlet you wonder how much more can she take. Richard was not the best husband all along, in fact what happened was Richardbeing a very abusive husband to Marylyn. In many occasion Marylyn was harassed and beaten by Richard.
Moreover, the book goes back in time to explain the tough situation her father had put her mother though since the years they were married. Despite his ill behaviors, Richard also went through a great deal of abuse from his neighbors and family for marrying a woman of color. The author tells us about the life of Richard, who had grown up during the civil rights era, at the time blacks were considered to be slaves and nothing equal to a white person. Richard’s father was purely a racist mindedfollower, in his mind he knew that white and black people should never have any relations. Richard was never affected by his father’s ideas, he married Marylyn and experienced a great deal of suffering because he was married to woman of color. Richard went through ordeal, but nothing matched the passing of his mother, at the funeral he decided to bring his wife Marylynand Britany. His father decided to humiliate him, his wife, and their child before the crown and blames him for his mother’spassing. It turns out later in the book that his father and a majority of his family decided to disown him except for his sister Libby. Libby loved Marylyn and Britany unconditionally.
As the story unravels, we are challenged with a twist in the book, and what is the mystery about the missing twins. Britanyfinds out about her twin brothers that were given away at birth, reason being that it was difficult enough to raise a single child in the first place. When Britany was three years old, Marylyn was pregnant with their second child. Richard was not happy with this idea, he suggested that they give the child up for adoption in order to hide the children away from the people living within the neighborhood. So, Richard blackmailed Marylyn that if she did not give up the two kids then he was going to leave her and go away with Britany. Considering that Richard was a high-rankingofficer at the Sheriff’s department he had the power to make a decision for his wife and no one would question it. Whiledelivery, Marylyn did not know Richard’s intentions, when he found out that his wife was having twins, he felt the need to give them up more. As soon as they were born, Richard immediately issued the children away for adoption. Britany’s mother kept this secret from her daughter for many years, until the day she found her looking at the pictures of the twins, Jerome and Jayden.
Looking at the above sections, we see that the author clearly shows the true cause of all the problems that happened to the family. The fact that Richard was in love with Marylyn at a very rough time during the racism time of the south. We see the sacrificial nature of Richard, he was much more tolerant of the negativities coming his way all because he loved Marylyn. Later he realizes that he has been through a lot with Marylyn and he starts on a path of hate and despise, he starts being abusive to the woman who he promises to love until death.It is important to understand that the negativity arising between the couple is not as a result of their own arguments but also external social factorsand forces. All the external forces regarding racism is the root cause of the troubling relationship between Richard and Marylyn. Also, it is essential to understand that even Richard’s parents had a role in creatingproblems that the couple suffered. Psychologically Richard is hurt by the fact that he is with Marylyn, he is disowned by his family and must go to a different town to have a life.
Jayden and Jerome were separated at birth, both of the boyslived very different lives into adulthood. Jayden was taken in by a white family that worked towards getting everything that they had. Jayden never lacked anything in life, he led a very privileged life until he started being teased about his race and the ethnicity of his mother. He changed, he began to be out of control and he started failing in school, on one occasion the parents decided to talk to him. They questioned what he wanted, then he overheard them talking about his adoption and how his parents never wanted to have him. This even changed Jayden and he followed a criminal path all his life.
Looking into the story of Jerome, we are made aware that he was sent to a foster home. He was sent to homes and ended up being abused from each and every home he went to. He studied hard and earned a scholarship that allowed him to study law. He eventually completed his studies and turned out to be an accredited lawyer. He worked on minority and low paying cases, the law firm he was working with just assigned him those kindsof cases. His life as a lawyer was still tough considering that he was a black man while living in a post racial America.
Moreover, the story in the book leaves the reader puzzledand full of mixed emotions. Feelings of despise for the racial regime and its effects on millions of people, hate for Richard, pity for Marylyn and Britany, and feeling the loss of hope for Jerome and Jayden. I really don’t think that the suffers that Richard went throughwere described clearly in the book. I believe that Richard went through a greater emotional pain than it was documented in the book. What came out was, a story that showed Britany was not grateful enough of the problems the father had gone through because of the mother. Richard was suffering a lot, he was disowned by his family, scolded by community members and even at his workplace.
The other thing that came out clearly and seemed off to me was the fact that Britany had a divided attention into matters of Ebony Eyes home. Britany was good to the girls but despite this she went ahead to jump from one task to another, she cared about the girls but for her personal life came first. She would focus on the girls and she would also jump back to finding her brothers and even handling her mother’s issues. The busy nature which was how she lived her life, was based on the idea that she could do anything and about just everything, this kind of behavior was typically painful to the girls at Ebony’s Eyes. Many issues were handled such as the fight between two girls over a guy and the later story of the strange man who talked to one of the girls, who turned out to be Jayden.
The book ends in a way that is ironic and rather more of a tragic comedy. The brothers learn of their origins and they all came back home to their mother. Despite the fact that she abandoned them at a young age, I bet the whole reunion was indescribable. What ought to have happened was just aninteraction session and people split ways as they are strangers to each other already. In any case, the author wanted to bring a good ending to the book, by adding the “Happily Ever After” line to the story.
Another critical part of the book is the story of Mathew, this young man who loved Britany. It is the case of a young man who loved her and never wanted to leave her at any point. It is clear thatBritany never wanted to enjoy life with such a man. The book is highly filled with negative ideas and situations that is highly painful. It makes you picture the world was out there to get her, in this case scenario we find the section that Mathew decided to tell Britany the kind of person she was turning into or she already was. That level of abuse faced by Britany is the same abuse Marylyn was receiving from Richard.
In conclusion, the book was interesting at some sections and very boring in other sections. The family in general suffered because of their skin color and the father was disowned by his family because of marrying a woman of color. Living at the wrong area had made their life much more complicated, especially that they were living there during the racism era.Since they had to go through social forces too, their marriage became less stable and a hate relationship started to grow between the couple Marylyn and Richard. In the end, this relationship ends up by Richard’s death, which made Marylyn’s life much more worse because people pointed their fingers towards accusing her for his death. Nonetheless, the mother was not the only one who suffered in my point of view. Britany went through a lot too, since she was there when her father was abusing her mother and she knew the fact that her mother got no power over him to defend herself. As girls, we always picture our parents as the ideal people that we should learn from. In Britany situation, seeing her father humiliating her mother and abusing her may cause her to develop androphobia.Additionally, the aspect of selling a negative story and ending it with a “happily forever” ending is not enticing. Adding this ending after showing a good amount of negativity and racism that this family have gone through because of their skin color, would not make this novel less painful.