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Analysis of “They Tell Me Of A Home”, by Daniel Black
They Tell Me Of a Home is a novel by Daniel Black, narrating the story of Tommy Lee Tyson, a twenty eight year old gentleman who eventually returns home after ten years of silence. Lee Tyson left his hometown Small Creek in Arkansas when he was eighteen years of age and swore never to return. He left home to distance himself from his violent father, psychologically isolated mother, angry brother, and Cynthia, her younger sister. Tyson was in love with her sister, the reason why he returns home after completing his doctorate education and attainment of a PhD in Black Studies. On his arrival, however, he realizes that Cynthia, who has been the source of motivation and positive living died. Throughout the story, Tyson spends the rest of his time trying to uncover the hidden truth behind her sister’s mysterious death, uncovering other secrets about his family. After rejecting his hometown Small Creek, Lee Tyson discovers that he can attain acceptance and the lost love through forgiving his family. In They Tell Me of a Home, Daniel Black refers to Nikki Giovanniâs poem Black love is Black wealth to express the characters’ desire for belonging, acceptance, and love, to portray that richness is not a matter of money, but achieving a cohesive and forgiving family.
The novel revolves around Tommy Lee’s childhood, portraying the past and present events that Lee encounters in the hands of his abusive father. He was ruined by his father’s abusive nature both physically and mentally, a factor that contributed to his leaving home. After departing from his family, the psychological traumas and experiences from home made Lee engage in studies in a bid to change his life, forgetting his own family for ten years. His leaving home is contributed by the desire and pleasure to make his life better from that of his family members and the surrounding society. After attaining his degree, however, he returns to his home village and the roots of his childhood. He is anxious to see his family and remembers his childhood friends at home. This is depicted in the novel when he says, “I shook my head and laughed as I remembered how crazy Darnell and I used to be” (Black 23). This shows that although his childhood was characterized by his father’s abusive nature, he was excited about it. Additionally, Tyson’s arrival at his local home area is unknown by his family members. He arrives home in the afternoon during the month of July. His elder brother, Willie, sees him from the field where he is plowing, and he is stranded at first glance because he cannot believe his own eyes. He, however, poses sarcastic comments because he is not pleased with his ten years of silence while he is away from home. Willie is also not happy with his brother’s come back because he is pretty sure that his presence will make things difficult for him. Although Willies attitude towards his brother developed when they were young, it is clear that his character has not changed even after spending ten years without seeing each other.
The author portrays the difficulties faced by Tyson upon his arrival home, which make him decide to leave his family to seek education and attain a better life. For instance, after approaching home, Tyson decides to sneak in and surprise his mother who is hanging clothes on the clothesline. To his surprise, his mother is not overwhelmed after seeing his son, who has disappeared for ten years. Instead, she disapproves him. She does not show love and compassion for her son. The author uses Tyson as an example to portray the kind of relationships that existed between B.............
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