Cauldwell's Portrayal Of Women In Tobacco Road

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Cauldwell’s portrayal of woman in Tobacco Road emphasizes the irony behind being good and being religious. It is more than common to believe that someone is “good” because they are religious, and even more common to automatically assume that a person of power within a religion can do no wrong. However, Bessie uses her position as preacher to take advantage of the Lester family, by tricking them into letting her marry Dude, a 16 year old boy. When she is first introduced in the story, she comments that she has “been looking around some,”(49) for a husband. While there is a constant theme within the book that women are subjected to their male counterparts, Bessie has the ability to look for a man. She later on manipulates Dude by “squatting,

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