Woman from America

The story entitled “Woman from America” by Bessie Head published in 1966 was about her friendship with an American woman who had married a Botswanan and moved to their village.

This woman was considered as an avalanche because her presence in their place was unexpected that resulted to the division of the camp into two: those who feel a fascinated love and those who fear a new thing. It was true that if we were new in a territory, we couldn’t please everybody living in that area. The same with the situation of the American woman because there were many people who anticipated that she will leave the vicinity one day but because of her strong determination and firmness to draw herself near to them, she stayed in that place. Although, she was a stranger to their sights, it was usual to her because the woman from the West side of America was mistaken as unfamiliar person of most people.The description of the woman according to the author was the same with the natural resources that we had. The way she projected her body was like a mountain tree. It means she was so sure of herself and cannot be shaken of whatever circumstances might come ahead of her. Just like a wild and tormented stream were the picture of her hair which meant that she was extremely beautiful and attractive.

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Although the author couldn’t understand the way she showed her emotion through her eyes still she referred them to a wild free buck racing against the wind. For me, it meant something that despite of the self – confidence that she had, there was still a doubt and worried for her part because she didn’t know what would happen next by staying in the place of her husband.The looks she offered to everybody if we will just dig deeper to know the meaning of it, she longed for the respect and acceptance of everybody the same with her feeling as she loved the people in that village.The presence of this woman was so intimidating because it was their first time to witness that the authority was being overpowered by a feminine.

Thus, for so many years, the women were only followers and have no power to open up what was inside their minds and hearts. That’s why they were so shy and submissive.She was the concrete representation of the love and concern of the black people in America for the Africans. She didn’t want to humiliate the women of Africa when she described the usual things done by them but she was very eager to open up their minds and hearts that their lives were not revolving only inside their house, doing all the household chores and act as a servant of their family.

She intended to portray the modern woman that she needed the freedom to do what she wanted, to tell what her opinion is and to act freely without the fear of being discriminated because of the color of the skin and the clan where one individual belongs.

Author: Joy Herrera


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