Brown Girl, Brownstones was without a doubt a familiar story to me. The West Indian family that leaves their lives behind in hopes of finding the American Dream. Unfortunately, as it is for Silla Boyce, and many like her, the nation that puts itself to sleep with hopes of having an American Dream did not fall asleep with black or brown people in mind. In other words, as Silla finds out, no matter how much you sacrifice, what you think will make you happy is not what will make you happy in the long run.
Brooklyn is depicted as chaotic and to Silla, in my view, the Brownstone would be the thing that will calm the confusion. Her behavior, selling Deighton Boyce’s land in Barbados, speaking down to Deighton, pushing and pushing no matter who she trampled on, proved in the end not to only lead to a Brownstone of her own but of loneliness and unhappiness. There was no satisfaction at the end for Silla. She had her Brownstone but her husband had either killed himself or died tragically at sea. In the end the person that gets hurt the most is Selina, who must choose between her mother and father, country and native land. Selina, caught in the middle of her father’s desire to go home and her mother’s desire to own a Brownstone, seems almost trapped between her reality and the two futures of her mother and father.
Ultimately, Selina heads out to find her own way but not after having lost her father and part of herself. This experience is that of many people whose family emigrates to America in hopes of a better life via material gains. They end up losing their values and direction after fighting too long for those hopes to become reality. My question is who really wins in these situations?