The Characters

(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

The narrator, though unborn, displays the wisdom of an older person. Cooper’s representation of her follows the African tradition of life circles, in which the unborn and the dead are closest to God. In Some People, Some Other Place, the ability of the living to choose between God and Satan pulls them further away from God and from knowledge of God’s presence in their lives. Eula Too helps to restore “the God” in the characters. The narrator also provides the social, historical, political, and sometimes spiritual context of the story. Through her brief commentaries on World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II, readers are able to understand the period in which Eula Too lives. Moreover, the narrator provides readers with glimpses into the inner minds of other characters whom Eula Too encounters.

Eula Too grows and develops over the course of several decades. At an early age, she learns that life is hard and full of work. Her mother, Eula Lee, eventually gives birth to eleven children, half of whom Eula Too helps raise. Eula Lee, like her own mother, is disillusioned and discouraged by her economic plight. Her dreams are destroyed while she strives to reach a better place and better people among whom to live. Both women place an immense value on Chicago, believing that reaching it will make a better life possible. Eula Too realizes the dreams of her mother and grandmother by moving to Chicago, yet she goes beyond them, attaining...

(The entire section is 592 words.)