21 August 2013
“Ashes” by Julia Peterkin was a story about an old black lady that burns down the new house built next to her house because she believed that Jesus had sent her a sign to do so. She goes to the sheriff and he seemed to not care and seemed to be on her side. He gave her a ride back home and acted as if nothing happened. I think the significance of the title “Ashes” means the rebirth of her life. Like another chance to start over. I think that the roses refer to her life because she says that the ashes are good for the roses but at the same time, it is good for her because the ashes were a sign from Jesus. Also because the ashes represent that she gets to stay in her house. She said “Ashes is de bes’t’ing eber was fo’ roses”. The ash is like a fertilizer for the roses.
I see that the old black lady is isolated from the world. She is also not educated. She does not speak proper. I think that could be because she has been isolated almost her whole life. When the two white men went to her house to tell her that she would have to start packing because they bought her land, she said to herself she does not have any family to go live with. My opinion is that she is isolated because she does not really fit in with the outside world. It isn’t because of racial reasons but because she has not properly developed social skills. Maum went to get help from another white man, so that is how you it is not about race. It is more of a cultural story. For people of the Gullah culture who understands this. That was the intended audience.
I feel like the white men think they can just kick her out because they said so. A good quote is