Gender Roles In Outcasts United By Janisse Ray And Luma Mufleh

1725 Words 7 Pages
Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, highlights her experiences as a child growing up in rural South Georgia, bringing attention to the extreme poverty surrounding her, as well as the gender expectations she faced from her religious family. Similarly, in Warren St. John’s novel, Outcasts United, the life of Luma Mufleh, a soccer coach to a refugee team, is also highlighted, and issues of gender inequality and religious expectations are also addressed. Despite their different cultural backgrounds, Janisse Ray and Luma Mufleh experienced similar hurdles in life regarding gender roles and what was expected of them. Those experiences and the way they were handled provided both women with places that hold extreme significance in …show more content…
For Ray, the forest, as well as rural Georgia, was considered an extremely special place to her. When describing her native rural Georgia, Ray describes a place of little physical beauty to an ordinary person. However, Ray states, “Unless you look close, there’s little majesty.” Ray believes that to a normal person, South Georgia is a place that is extremely lackluster. However, to someone who holds it near to his or her heart, there is beauty beyond the surface. To Ray, as someone who is a native South Georgian, she believes, “Nothing is more beautiful, nothing more mysterious, nothing more breathtaking, nothing more surreal.” Ray’s connectedness with nature is what makes the forest such a special place to her. To her, the forest is her special place. To her, she can get lost in the sounds of the trees and the songs that they sing. Ray proclaims, “This music cannot be heard anywhere else on the earth.” Ray’s connection to nature provides her with a sense of herself, and her time spent in the forest allows her to escape from …show more content…
Jordan is the root of her culture, which is something that she still values. However, she finds her new home in Clarkston, Georgia. Originally, Mufleh knew absolutely nothing about Clarkston. Eventually, Clarkston becomes a place that provides her with a sense of familiarity when she experiences homesickness for her native Jordan. Mufleh eventually discovers a local grocery store that carries food items that Mufleh’s grandmother might have used to make a traditional dish. The most important place to Mufleh, however, was the soccer field. Originally, Mufleh maintained the idea that the soccer field was a place where the refugee kids she coached could leave their worries behind, and she made it a point to not ask her players about their pasts. Soon, the soccer field became a place where they all became comfortable with each other and were able to share their struggles with one another. In a way, the soccer field provided Mufleh with a new family away from her family in Jordan. Soccer helped her connect with the kids, and soon, it helped her connect with their families. By forming that connection on the soccer field, this allowed Mufleh to become a much-needed leader and mentor to the kids she coached, as well as their

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