How have the Day women been unlucky in Mama Day by Gloria Naylor?

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Mama Day, a 1988 novel written by Gloria Naylor , follows the relationship between Cocoa Day and her eventual husband, George Andrews. The novel explores a number of themes, including practicality versus faith and belief, family and heritage, tradition, sacrifice, and fate. The Day family, particularly the women, have...

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Mama Day, a 1988 novel written by Gloria Naylor, follows the relationship between Cocoa Day and her eventual husband, George Andrews. The novel explores a number of themes, including practicality versus faith and belief, family and heritage, tradition, sacrifice, and fate. The Day family, particularly the women, have been unlucky because they have been fraught with death and tragedy.

Examples of this would include the suicide by drowning of the mother of Mama Day and her sister, Abagail. There is also a history of children dying in the family, including two that were named Peace. Cocoa herself is motherless, having been raised primarily by her great aunt and grandmother. Cocoa also has no Day cousins or siblings, being the last surviving Day of her generation.

The tragic circumstances may have begun with the original founder of the island, Sapphira Wade. Though not technically a Day, she is a relatively close ancestor of Mama Day, Abagail, and Cocoa. She was bought as a slave and brought to the island a long time prior to the start of the novel. Though she was able to mysteriously gain ownership of the island through the man who purchased her and built a community that empowered herself, her sons, and generations to come, her situation was anything but lucky.

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