In the novel The Darkest Child the author Delores Phillips displays the activities and likely hood of growing up in the still racist Deep South. The main character Tangy Mae encounters hardships and tribulations amongst her family. Her mother Rozelle Quinn displays negative habits of a mother by being over controlling of her kids. Rozelle often beat and called her children names out of frustration and rage. Tangy Mae and her siblings must step up to the plate in order for the family to make a living without a father figure while dealing with their scolding mother.
In the story the Darkest Child the mother Rozelle Quinn is a thirty – five year old tall slender lady with dark grey eyes and so fair-skinned that she can pass for white is the mother of ten children including Tangy Mae who all lived in fear of her moods and temper. Rozelle favors her light-skinned kids, but insists that they all love and obey her unquestioningly. Tangy Mae is her smartest and darkest colored child, and her mother treated her different because of that.
Tangy Mae went to school longer than all of her other siblings and wanted to continue but her mother wouldn’t allow her to because she wanted her to work like the rest of her siblings. Her mother would often beat her and her other siblings an example from the book is “The belt looped through the air in a rush, but instead of striking Martha Jean it cut into my shoulders, neck, and back. It knocked me off balance. ”(Phillips 119) Her mother would always tell her things like she was ugly.
She would talk to her kids anyway she would like and always threatened them to get her point across for example “Effortlessly, Mama wrapped her other arm around Martha Jean’s neck and breathed into her ear, dumb bitch. You no-good, dumb bitch. I’ll break yo’ goddam neck. ”(Phillips 118) But somehow through all the stressful situations Tangy somehow still managed to keep her head up and stay strong through it all. Their mother had a mental illness she would “Satan’s in here, she said in a hollow voice, her gaze darting about the room.
While I was gone, one of yall let satan in my house. Who was it? No one spoke. Don’t sit there like idiots. I wanna know who did it. ”(Phillips 69-70) This shows that Tangy Mae’s mother suffers from an mental illness. Tangy Mae and her siblings have been through it all from racism to being baldly mistreated by their mother. Their mother wanted to be in control of their whole life and if her kids ever went against something she said and didn’t obey her rules she would brutally hit them and call them all types of names.