English 2353- Women In Literature
Bailey’s Cafe is a collection of deeply moving personal stories from (mainly) women deeply scared by life. Author Gloria Naylor reveals an extraordinary ability to imagine, create and relate the stories of half dozen people nearly destroyed by their pasts, yet getting some glimmer of hope in Eve’s boarding house, arrived at via Bailey’s Café. Naylor’s characters are desperately seeking salvation, or they will perish by their own evils that they have experienced in their lives. One such character in need is Sadie, whose violent childhood at the hands of a drug-addicted prostitute mother leads her to seek quiet and cleanliness. Bailey's Cafe is a sleazy little dive on the edge of nowhere, run by a guy who answers to the name of Baile wife, Nadine. They specialize in bad food and lost hopes, catering to a series of vividly drawn characters, all of whom have come to the end of a bitter road. In the first few lines, Bailey tells us that he was distraught at the horrors of combat and the destitution of war, and when he reached the point of giving in, he found this mysterious cafe, and began anew. His experience is not unlike the other characters in the play. They all reach Bailey’s Cafe in the hopes of not being served a hot meal, but to regain something that was lost to them. A character who I liked the most is Sadie, who tried to win her abusive mother's love by being the best,
cleanest girl in the world. Yet after Sadie's dream of having a home of her own is hopelessly thwarted, she escapes into alcoholism and works as a whore, earning only enough to support her habit of cheap wine. Until she was four she thought her name was the one the coat hanger missed. When she did ask her mother what her name was her beat her viciously screaming “Sadie, Sadie, Sadie.” At this young age she learned that the only way out of her...
Cited: Naylor, Gloria Bailey’s Café. Random house, Incorporated, 1993.
Rosemary M. Canfield Riesman. "Bailey’s Café." Master plots II: African American Literature Series. Salem Press, 1994. eNotes.com. 2006. 10 May, 2011
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