Why not live with Chandlers

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Lutie is in such a bad situation living and working were she does. Why dosn't she just ask for her old job back with the Chandlers and take Bub with he

-- Anonymous, April 26, 2000


Lutie mentions once that she wouldn't want to have Bub live in that situation either. She said he would always have to be quiet and eat too fast, probably eating the leftovers from the family, and he would have to stay out of the way and she wouldn't really have any more time to spend with him than she does now. Mostly, I think she didn't want Bub to have to be subjected to the stares and whispers of the family's guests as she was, and the attitudes about blacks since he would be surrounded by white people all the time. But you're right, if her life, especially her apartment, is that bad, that big warm house in the country wouldn't sound too bad to me.

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2000

I do not think Lutie wants Bub in that environment, as she states so in the course of the book. Also, by this time the Chandler's most certainly have another domestic hired. Having Lutie return to the Chandler's would also make for a relatively nice ending to the book, and Petry did not have a pleasant ending in mind for the end. She tried to show us the stark reality of the world at the time (and also today)in dealing with the condition of being poor and having no upward mobility. Petry could have just as easily written a novel about coal miners in West Virginia or the poor in the Appalachians. The novel is not about racial problems. It is about the socio-economic differences in people and how they are dealt with. It just so happens that Petry wrote her novel about a single parent living in Harlem.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2000

When Lutie went to go live with the Chandlers she had to leave Bub with her husband. I got the impression that Lutie couldn't bring Bub along with him. So now that she was living on her own and taking care of Bub on his own, she couldn't go back to the Chandlers to work.

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

I don't think Lutie wants to go back to the Chandlers even though she was living well. They would probably ask questions about her husband and catch her in a lie. The Chandlers may not want her back either. They might not want to have to bother with her son.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2000

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