Renae Evans 04-27-2010 “ Push” by Sapphire Enriched and nurtured in the tradition of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, Sapphire creates a womanist text that depicts a new voice of the African-American woman in Push. It is a troubling and intriguing novel narrated from the viewpoint of an uneducated, sexually abused Harlem adolescent, Precious Jones - ill-treated, deprived, fuming, obese, loathed, ignored and hence self-taught, direct, naive, raw as being sensible, worthy and truly humane. Precious Jones, the teenage protagonist, suffers unbelievable adversities for her young age — raped by her father (when she was only seven years old), ill-treated and badly beaten by her mother. At the start of
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14). Wherever she goes, frustration is all she has in her life. From the first line of Push, Precious Jones shows her resentment against her childhood, the “incest” of her father to whom she has been a recurring victim. Her father, who came to her in the night, had “pushed” her backside and lobbed his fetid “pee-pee” in her mouth, then at last in her vagina. This has gone on for years. Her mother does not guard her from him, but rather yells at her saying odd things (and hitting her as well) like "Thank you Miz Claireece Precious Jones for fucking my husband you nasty little slut” (19). It's difficult to picture how in the course of the story many more disasters come Precious's way. “Little Mongo”, Precious's first child, whom she conceived at the age of 12, shows symptoms to have Down's syndrome and is hurriedly carried off from her. Soon after her second child is born, Precious gets herself out on the streets of Harlem, with no home to live. Very soon, she comes to know that her father has transmitted H.I.V to her. As stated by Kakutani in a book review, “No wonder that under such conditions, Precious frequently feels that her brains has turned into a TV set, playing and replaying videos that tender her a short break from the dreary realities of her routine”. In these fantasies, she is slim, not flab; white, not black; appreciated, not ridiculed.
At the start, Precious worships the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the Black Muslim leader, known for his