At first glance, Dr. Brenda DoHarris’ Calabash Parkway appears to be a novel about a Guyanese woman meeting an old friend from her native land, in New York, after several years. Upon further reading, the novel has resilient records of feminism in the protagonists Agatha, Evadne, and Gwennie. The three are emasculated by poverty, neglect, and abuse. Living in a masculinized country the three women refuse to succumb to their struggles of life. These powerless characteristics of the three young women are overcome after immigrating to New York and Canada.
The first reflection of feminism is ‘Gatha’s life of poverty. “The shadow of political tyranny and economic malaise loomed over the country” (DoHarris 6)1.Those living in Guyana struggled to
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She meets Jack, whom lives in the same building as her employer, and the two fall in love. Reflecting yet another means of feminism, she decides to return to Guyana to get her residency papers from the US Embassy, so that she can return to Jack legally. Once in Guyana she finds that her friend Doreen has stepped into her role as mother to her children and Leon’s love. Not approving of the love affair, she never takes into consideration that she too is in love with someone else; nor does she care that Leon has been caring for their twins and the two sons she has by Eustace. All she sees is that Doreen (her friend) is living what should be her life. Discussing with Leon the marital issues they both incurred, feminism abounds again when ‘Gatha explains to Leon that she is still willing to sponsor him and the children to the US.
Felonious assault will be reason enough for ‘Gatha to be denied a Visa to the US. This setback would give rise to ‘Gatha devising a plan to reenter the US, by way of Canada. Her sewing partner from the past Gwennie, will come to her rescue, sending an invitation for visitation to Canada. “No stranger to difficulty, she saw it as a series of river rapids that she would be required to negotiate as she paddled her canoe upstream” (133). Just like the prior years of poverty, ‘Gatha finds a means to rise above her struggles. She boards the plane to Toronto.
As well as Agatha being conflicted with poverty, there is