An Analysis of Ann Petry’s “Like a Winding Sheet”

There have been infinite surveies to that show Stress. Frustration and Anger are related. In Ann Petry short narrative “Like a Winding Sheet” you can observer this relationship. First. allow us analyze the rubric “Like a Winding Sheet” the words Winding Sheet means “shroud” . this indicate the characters of the narrative could hold a shroud hanging oven him? The narrative is told in a 3rd individual point of position it takes topographic point in the Ghetto’s of Harlem. As you start reading the narrative. you can see right off Johnson and his married woman Mae seem to be a happy black twosome. He tries to acquire up before his married woman Mae. and he wants to “surprise her by repairing breakfast” ( 1 ) .

This divulges a romantic side of Johnson to the reader nevertheless. alternatively of acquiring up he goes back to kip because. he has worked 10 hours at dark and his legs are sore. Another mark of Johnson’s love for Mae is when they were reasoning approximately being late for work and “he couldn’t conveying himself to speak to her approximately or endanger to strike her like a batch of work forces might hold done” ( 59 ) . Although. this appears from the outward visual aspect to be a normal relationship it’s hard to disregard the inward emotion that Johnson has been maintaining bottled up. Was this the beginning of Johnson’s Stress. Frustration. and Anger?

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As the narrative moves on Johnson arrive to work tardily as ever. he see the forewoman. a white adult female who is upset about something. He avoids looking at her. but she stops him anyhow. He greets her “good eventide ; Mrs. Scott’ ( 91 ) and waits for her reaction. The forelady refers to the clip and tells him that “he is late again” ( 92 ) . Johnson explains to her that his legs are giving him problem. Then all of a sudden she makes a comment that’s conveying out Johnson choler “Every cat comes in here late ever has an excuse” ( 100 ) “and niggas are the worse” ( 102 ) . She besides points out that she is “sick of niggers” ( 104 ) which is decidedly. in today society considered a racial statement. This along with the fact that it was coming from the oral cavity of a white adult female was more than Johnson was prepared to manage. But. he reframes from hitting her because she is a adult female. Be this the beginning of Johnson’s Stress. Frustration. and Anger?

Work is eventually over and Johnson’s choler has subsided. However. this doesn’t last long. As Johnson makes his manner place he sees a line of people being service java at an urn. He stops to acquire some when the white miss who is functioning the java refuses to give Johnson a cup and he assumes it is because he is black but in truly it was because the immature lady had to do more. Just the idea of non being serviced the java because. he was black made him ferocious and makes him desire to “hit her so difficult that the vermilion lip rouge on her oral cavity would smear and distribute over her nose. her chin” ( 253 ) . But. as with the forewoman he reframes from hitting her because she is a adult female. Be this the beginning of Johnson’s Stress. Frustration. and Anger?

Johnson makes place from work and starts reasoning with his married woman. She says that he is “nothing but a hungry nigga who is seeking at act tough” ( 312 ) . This pushes Johnson over the border his choler and defeat return over. He finds his custodies on this married woman face non recognizing that he was taking all his choler and defeat on the 1 he loves. You may inquire why Johnson didn’t hit the forewoman when she calls him a nigga. and why did he command his choler when the waitress garbage to give him a cup of java. and more of import why did he lose it when his WIFE called him a” hungry nigger” . As the reader of this narrative I came up with two replies to these inquiries: one is if a black adult male lost control on a white adult female his life would be worthless and black on black force was acceptable. My 2nd ground is as human being we have the inclination to take all of our defeats and choler out on the 1s that we love trusting that they will understand and will forgives us.

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An Analysis of Ann Petry’s “Like a Winding Sheet”. (2017, Sep 17). Retrieved from