Mama Day Questions and Answers: Part II, pp. 166-242

Gloria Naylor

Questions and Answers: Part II, pp. 166-242

Questions
1. What does the island symbolize in the relationship between Cocoa and George, and how does that symbolism help to develop the plot in this section?

2. Why is it appropriate that George fears rejection during the trip to Willow Springs?

3. What role does the first week on the island play within the overall plot of the book?

4. What is the relationship between the fight waged by Cocoa and George and the primary themes of the book?

5. Why is the outcome of the fight expected, and what does this fact suggest about events to come?

Answers
1. The island symbolizes the differences in the personalities and backgrounds of Cocoa and George; the trip to Willow Springs thus helps to highlight the conflict that develops between the couple in this section.

2. George’s fear is appropriate because the island challenges the beliefs and assumptions that are most integral to his character. The trip constitutes a test of not only his patience but also his character.

3. The first week becomes the calm before the storm that follows. It provides opportunities for George to learn about Willow Springs and for the Days to contemplate their hopes for the family, especially the long-awaited arrival of heirs to their land and lifestyle.

4. The fight emphasizes the themes of history and identity in the novel. It begins with Cocoa’s...

(The entire section is 298 words.)