Eva's Man Additional Summary

Gayl Jones


(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Barksdale, Richard K. “Castration Symbolism in Recent Black American Fiction.” College Language Association Journal 29, no. 4 (1986): 400-413. Considers Eva’s Man an example of fiction depicting men whose sexual insensitivity and violence merit their castration. Eva’s crime is not against Davis Carter specifically but against all black men who have helped to create the sexual world in which women such as Eva and her predecessors have had to live.

Basu, Biman. “Public and Private Discourses and the Black Female Subject: Gayl Jones’s Eva’s Man.” Callaloo 19 (Winter, 1996): 193-208. Basu notes that Jones has been criticized for reinforcing sexual and class stereotypes in her novel, and that her female protagonist is too passive in the face of abuse. Yet Jones has reiterated that her goal was to present a female character whose subjectivity in the story is indeterminate.

Byerman, Keith. “Black Vortex: The Gothic Structure of Eva’s Man.” MELUS 7, no. 4 (1980): 93-101. Suggests that Eva’s Man uses the structure of Gothic literature, specifically the downward spiral of the whirlpool, to express the violence and sexuality of the novel. As an insane woman obsessed with sex and certain that men are by nature brutal, Eva gets herself into ever-worse situations. At the same time, her narration gives the reader her experiences in the same intensifying, spiral fashion, providing an appropriate form for Eva’s madness and dark vision.

Byerman, Keith. “Intense Behaviors: The Use of the Grotesque in The Bluest Eye and Eva’s Man.” College Language Association Journal 25, no. 4 (1982): 447-457. Suggests that Eva is a “grotesque” character used by Jones to reproach...

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