Throughout The Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Ward uses several reoccurring motifs. First, she personalizes her hometown, DeLisle, as a wolf. She makes allusions to this wolf throughout the novel, writing that this ‘wolf’ is stalking her and her loved ones.
Next, Ward writes:
As the driver clumsily crushed the grass and swerved out of the yard, I thought of what my ex had said to me before I drove away. They picking us off, one by one, Brandon had breathedI thought about what Tasha and Brandon had said, and I wondered who they were. Rog had died by his own hand, by his own heart; were they us? Or was there a larger story that I was missing as all these deaths accumulated, as those I loved died? Were they even human? My headlights lit a slim sliver in the darkness, and suddenly they seemed as immense as the darkness, as deep, as pressing. I turned off my music and rode home without the narrative of song, with only the bugs shrill cry and hot wind whipping past my window. I tried to hear the narrative in that, to figure out who the they that wrote our story might be. (Ward 14, emphasis my own.)
Ward also refers to her brother and friends as ghosts, writing that:
Mens bodies litter my family history. The pain of the women they left behind pulls them from the beyond, makes them appear as ghosts. In death, they transcend the circumstances of this place that I love and hate all at once and become supernatural. Sometimes, when I think of all the men whove died early in my family over the generations, I think DeLisle is the wolf. (14).
These motifs are central to the overall meaning of the novel. In this short paper, I want you to analyze these three motifs. Who or what is the wolf, and who or what is the they Ward references? Why is it important that her brother and friends are ghosts, and why does she use the metaphor of haunting?
Your paper should use specific textual evidence and connect to at least one other module or author from the course.
General Guidelines for Response Papers:
1.Papers should be 3 pages, Times New Roman, double spaced, 12 point font and one inch margins
2.You do not need a works cited, but please do include in-text citations. This just means that after using a quote, you would write (Author, Page Number). For example, (Ward 12).
3.You should include at least one direct quote from the text and cite specific moments in the text in your paper.
4.You should connect your paper to at least one other module or reading from the course.
5.You should write at the top of your paper whether you are responding to the prompt or writing your own paper.
the link to the article the man we raped: