Themes and Meanings
Eva’s plight is recounted in a fragmented, stream-of-consciousness manner. The only organizer is the memory, jumping from one moment in time to another, backward then forward, sometimes by chapter, sometimes by page, sometimes by line. Often a reader is in doubt for a moment about place and character, but the logic of the jump is always clear, for the memory is jolted by specific words and images. She describes watching from behind, as a child, as the Queen Bee crossed the street: “She had a little waist and big hips.” Suddenly she shifts to a conversation with Davis, who tells her, “You got the kind of ass that a woman should show off.”
Eva’s Man is a statement about the life of one black woman and, from her point of view, an indictment against men, perhaps black men. All of Eva’s men have thrust themselves upon her, both figuratively and literally, and she has been defenseless against their abuses. Her defenselessness is partly because they impose their desires on her and partly because she desires them at the same time that she resents and fears them. She longs for a kind of love that they cannot give her, so she feels like “her heart is in her draws.” She, like her mother before her, is never asked, “How do you feel?” but is repeatedly asked, “How does it feel?” It is being treated as an object, a body, that she resents, and Jones makes this clear by the repetition of images of blood, milk, and semen. Even these...
(The entire section is 540 words.)