A Textual Analysis of Mama Day~ By: Gloria Naylor
Mama Day is a novel that illustrates a combination of the mystic and the unwritten rule. It portrays how the past and the present times, the existing and the lifeless, the authentic and the imaginary, the ordinary and the mystical connect African Americans. The novel narrates the lives of several different people; Miranda, ‘Mama’ Day, Abigail, Ophelia (Cocoa), and George. It describes the story of George a prosperous entrepreneur, who grew up in New York City and Cocoa, a woman who has an incredibly influential ancestral heritage, which George later has to resign himself to. George and Cocoa’s apprehensive relationship continued on when they went to visit Willow Springs, Cocoa’s home. Willow Springs is described as a magical place that held the secrets concerning Cocoa’s past along with the source of her future.
The novel circles around two worlds. One, being Willow Springs, which is an island that serves as a southern barrier, the people who live there are the offspring of slaves. Willow Springs is a sector where the rules of the dominant mainstream society are not subject to the people living there. New York is illustrated in the novel as another diverse world. It is a linguistic, multicultural city dominated by stringent and callous rules of passion and endurance. The author, Gloria Naylor, discovers various ways to resolution: between the past rural cultures and the present urban cultures; between past beliefs and realities, individuals to communities. The novel symbolically reunites the dispersed offspring of Africa.
Mama Day, who is a strong elderly woman, is noted for her vast knowledge in herbal remedies and calling for rain using the stick that she uses for walking. Mama Day believed that all worlds were governed by mystical powers. Cocoa was poisoned, and a spell had been placed on her during her visit to Willow Springs with George. Cocoa became quite ill nearing death; George cannot believe the...