Black Women Writers @ Southwestern University

An English / Feminist Studies / Race & Ethnicity Studies Course Blog

On and On

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*bear in mind I’m only halfway through the novel 🙂

I would like to discuss a quote present on the handout we received in class:

“Time, I want to learn to look at round clock and tell time.  No one ever show me.  I never tell Ms Rain I don’t know that” (Sapphire 88).

Let’s unpack this!  Although Kindred would like to have word with me, I think most would agree that time is the most static phenomena in our universe.  It can only move forward, and is the most dependable consistent component of our lives.  Even if it’s going to be shit, we will always have a future (until we die).  Time existed before life, and probably will continue after we are all gone.  Undoubtedly, it’s pretty important.

Imagine you had no concept of time, only the relative purple to orange hue of the sky to guide your day.  Although Precious certainly can read a digital clock, the ability to decipher ticking hands into time is a skill lost on someone with no one to teach her one of the fundamentals of life.  Precious can’t look at a “round clock and tell time”, because no one ever took the time to care about her (Sapphire 88).  What could time represent to someone in Precious’s position?  Later, maybe, things will get better.  Maybe the AIDS will go away, maybe Precious will be the mom she always wanted, and maybe she will be genuinely loved by a child who wholeheartedly believes she is the greatest thing in the world.  You cannot realize hope, hold it in your hands and keep it in your pocket, because it is perpetually out there forward in time.  Hope can only exist in the future.

Time for Precious is the space to endure, an uncertain and clouded nether which could consist of a multitude of different life choices.  Maybe things will get better.  Only time will tell, and time can be tight-lipped


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