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Untitled Essay

722 words - 3 pages

Modern Footsteps What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, by Pearl Cleage, is a novel about Ava Johnson's personal battles dealing with what life has dealt her; being a successful black woman, with HIV. Ava's life is transformed when she discovers that her glitzy Atlanta lifestyle can no longer continue. She is forces to close her hair salon because of the fear of the public towards her. Her plan was vague, to stop for the summer at her sister's, and then find a new life in California. Deciding to leave her Atlanta home and return to her childhood home of Idlewild represents her compete movement in thought and values regarding love, family, and the future. But her "temporary" stay in Idlewild became the longest year of life changing events ever. Never before have I read a book written with such smart dialog and no-boundaries frankness. Pearl Cleage is not ...view middle of the document...

And only to add to Ava's inner-commotion, her sister (a widow) adopts an abandoned HIV-positive, cocaine addicted baby girl named Imani. Ava's maternal instincts began to kick in. Though Imani was young, Ava sees so much of herself and her own future in Imani. For so long, as a single woman, she has been able to sit back and watch the world twist and turn, but now there was more at stake. She was now a part of something. A family. "We all laughed, but in the middle of it, I realized I'm not going to be around for much of Imani's life." (89) Ava could always sense her illness. She slowly began to notice the virus eating away at her. The first sign of full-blown AIDS hit her one September: night sweats. "That's the problem with knowing. It takes away the possibility of pretending. Pretending we can save Imani. Pretending this place is so far away from the scene of the crime that consequences can't catch me. Pretending I've got time to fall in love." (215) This person vs. self conflict is the core of this book's sensual, humorous, and realistic point-of-view that is like no other. Not until the very last page of What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day can you see the meaning behind it. In the end, Ava let go. She let go of her inhibitions, because her inhibitions were from fear. Fear of death. Fear of love. But after her life no longer became ordinary, after AIDS and a dependent baby, nothing was ordinary anymore. Nothing was crazy. " Now we were all old enough to know that what looks like crazy on an ordinary day looks a lot like love if you catch it in the moonlight." (244) What Looks Like Crazy is an example of modern literature that depicts these times of change and lack of norms. Slowly stereotypes are dissolving. All of our technology can not save us from social epidemics we have, such as the HIV virus. All of the money, fame, and prosperity that flows through our country can not keep us from the constant needs that all of us like Ava need; stability, family, and love.

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