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In the Belize of Beka Lamb, we have a matriarchal society in which women call the shots. You will notice that there are not very many men in the novel, and the only one of any substance is Beka's father, Bill. Although Bill is not depicted as a weak, inconsequential man, in his home the women are in charge. He lives with his wife and his mother. It is true, that the women are in charge of keeping the house, cooking and raising the children, but all of the women have very strong political views and they are not afraid of discussing them with Bill, although Bill does not agree with the views. In the end, he makes it known that he is in charge, because he is the breadwinner, but the women do not make his life very easy. That is why he escapes to go to his club every night to have a few drinks and smokes with his men friends and colleagues.
Beka and Toycie are warned continually by the other women that if they do not obtain an education, there will be no way out for them, and they will be forced to do menial work - the washboard under the porch. National Vellor, the prostitute, in fact, has no education, no husband, no family, so she tells Beka "What could I do?" The only way she can make a living is by being a prostitute.
One of the author's themes is that for women in Belize, if they are going to escape the traditional roles, they must get an education.
The role of creole women in Beka Lamb was to be housewives. This meant that they had to wash, cook and clean, which meant that they were not educated. They had little power influencing the society and the only way for creole women to escape this was to get an education. This was not affordable by most creole women as school were privately owned and were very expensive.
The role of the high class women was a little bit more different. They used to stay home but they had maids, gardeners, babysitters, etc. (creole women & men). They did not do much because they were rich and so they paid the creole part of society to do it for them. They did not work as only men in the high class would work.
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