Ernest J. Gaines; The Sky is Gray
Characterization of Octavia
In Ernest J. Gaines, "The Sky is Gray," is a story of a woman during World War II, who is faced with the challenges of raising and providing for her family financially in the absent of her husband because of the war. Her realistic attitude about her role as head of the family in the absent of her husband has changed her dramatically. The happy and cheerful social person Octavia once was is transformed into an abusive, demanding, but compassionate woman.
Octavia, the mother who assumes the role as head of the family abusive behavior is describe by James, her son, in which his description fosters that of a tuff, no nonsense kind of woman. Her abusiveness can be seen in many instances, for example, the constant "whipping" of Ty, another one of her sons, because of his fear of "ghosts" (4).Another prime example and show of Octavia's abusive trait as depicted by James, "She slapped me again" (67), and "She started hitting me'cross the back. I went down on the ground, crying" (76). Not only is Octavia abusive, but also sadistic, as thought she enjoys inflicting pain, her pain, in which she suffers internally, but is blinded by her idealism of turning her boys into men.
Assuming the role as head of house is stressful for any mother who is use to a man in the house. Octavia becomes quite demanding in this new role of hers. "Get him out of there," she repeated over and over again, "Get him," Octavia demand James, in the fetching and the killing of "redbirds" for the evening meal (paragraph 54-80). I side with Octavia in some respect, however, her demand for James to kill could have a ripple effect much later in life if not now, and damage the boys, Ty and James for life.
Like most mothers, Octavia is compassionate in many respects. The moment she learns of James's situa…