Lucielia Louise Turner and Her Pot of Rice.
The Women of Brewster Place is a novel that shows the struggles of African American women living in a male dominated world. Gloria Naylor intertwines seven stories of real women living in one apartment complex. Throughout the novel there is an immense sense of kinship. One woman in particular struck me as a strong-willed female, who goes through several traumatic experiences. Lucielia Louise Turner, or Ciel, is that woman. A large part of her story, Lucielia is making rice in a pot. The relationship Lucielia and Eugene have, can be compared to the pot of rice. Calm at first, then heated, turning and turning until it is boiling without control. No matter how hard Lucielia tries to be the perfect girlfriend, it will never be good enough, similar to the boiling pot of rice. .
“He didn’t have to knock on the door; his key still fit the lock. Her thin knuckles gripped the handle of the kettle, but she didn’t turn around. She knew” (91). The relationship between Lucielia and Eugene was very strained. You can see that when he first enters the lonely apartment. Lucielia grips the handle of the kettle tightly in fear Eugene will hurt her or make her feel even more alone than she already is: “It was all there: the frustration of being left alone, sick, with a month-old baby; her humiliation reflected in the caseworker’s blue eyes for the unanswerable “you can find him to have it, but can’t find him to take care of it . . . “” (91). When Eugene unlocks the door Lucielia fears him. She is alone and hurt and the humiliation of being alone with no help from her daughter’s father is humiliating. She is embarrassed that she cannot take care of her daughter because she has no outside support. Ciel is frustrated to the point that she is getting sick and embarrassed because she has a significant other that doesn’t help her take care of their child together.