The Living Ain't Easy Essay

Submitted By ShaniquaThompson
Words: 1079
Pages: 5

A Critical Analysis: The Living Is Easy In the book, The Living Is Easy, written by Dorothy West, is the life of an African American middle class family controlled by their oldest sister Cleo, who is determined to bring her sisters from the South to live with her and her husband in Boston. Cleo is an ambitious, selfish, greedy, manipulative, powerful woman who wants the best for her sisters but attempts to achieve the best the wrong way. Cleo’s manipulative ways and negative attitude towards her family cause her to lose her family. Every older brother or sister wants the best for their younger siblings, but society will benefit if elder sister or brother allow their siblings to experience life making their own decisions so they can learn from them. One cannot tell people how to live their life because they will engage life trying to be something they’re not. The more others allow the people they love to live their life, then more people can become independent thinkers, which can produce more political leaders who will be able to make constructive decisions for one’s country, such as should our country go to war or decisions on how to increase the rate of employment. Cleo possesses traits as the woman and man who controls everything in the household and everyone fears her and is afraid to contradict or challenge her. For Cleo, her marriage is one that’s convenient. She is in love with her husband’s money and the things he can afford, while Bart is madly in love with her for a reason he could explain. “Some part of him was just smoothed and satisfied by the fact his right to cherish her” (West 89). Bart explains that it did not torment him that he could lay next to her and not possess her. Cleo took money and lied to her husband all the time. There are a lot of women who are just as bad as Cleo, but it is the men’s responsibility to control their house and keep track of their money. However, Bart, who has had unfaithful women in the past, thinks Cleo is different. Yet, this happens a lot where a man puts all his trust in a woman and the woman is not the woman he thinks she is. If more women can develop an understanding with their mate, communicate with their husbands, and be truthful to their husbands, this will lead to fewer divorces and more children being raised in a two parent home, who usually have a better lifestyle then a one parent household. Many women often say that there are not enough good men in the world. So when a woman finds good man like Bart Judson, who loves to care for his family and is thinking about saving money for his children when he dies, she should cherish him, unlike Cleo. Cleo, just like any older sister, wants the best for her three younger sisters. However, rather than being honest, Cleo uses her manipulative ways to convince her sisters to visit for a weekend by lying to all of her sisters and her husband. She tells her husband that Lily, her younger sister is getting beat by her husband; she tells Charity her other sister that Lily is coming to stay with her and it must have been serious if Lily was willing to travel on a train because Lily is scared of everything, and said she will never travel on a train again after an incident she had before; she convinces Lily that she is having problems with her husband Mr. Judson and needs her to come see her; she also convinces her other sister that Lily is in trouble and that all of the are coming to Boston to stay until Lily gathered herself. These are all lies just so Cleo can have her sisters’ move to Boston and live with her. Cleo thinks that their husbands are not good enough to be with her sisters. While Cleo has the right intention of wanting the best for her sister, she must realize that shoe is doing more then moving her sisters from the South,. She is destroying a marriage, taking a…