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What is the primary motivation of Miss Jane Pittman?

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countrywide | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:31 AM via web

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What is the primary motivation of Miss Jane Pittman?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:46 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that Jane Pittman's primary motivation is to serve as a testament to history.  I sense that she understands this function towards the end of the narrative.  Jane Pittman had been presented as one who recognizes the need to keep an eye on the maintenance of the social order that concerns her.  She never shied away from recognizing the power of what is right and acting on it, even if the context does not leave her own setting.  It is through her raising and working with Jimmy does she fully grasp that she, as a woman of color, has some level of obligation to standing up for what is right in a larger context.  Her primary motivation becomes to raise Jimmy as "the one," and then  when he dies, she recognizes that her role is to take up where his work stopped.  It is here where she takes up for his cause.  Regardless of her age, she understands that her motivation has to be to stand for something that others will follow.  It is here where she recognizes her primary motivation as an embodiment of history.  She is someone that knows her age, and knows how much power it will speak in showing that everyone is bound by the reality of how they will be viewed in history.  Jane Pittman's primary motivation becomes this understanding, something that makes her narrative so compelling.

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