“The Entombed Maternal in Gloria Naylor’s Linden Hills” is a critical essay written by Paula G. Eckard. Within the essay Eckard explores the gynocentrism of Linden Hills. Eckard studies Willa’s entombment and her discovery of what Eckard describes as “herstories” (796). Furthermore, Eckard analyzes how, similar to most of Naylor’s works, Linden Hills explores in depth the crucial bonds and relationships that women have with other women. Eckard also further examines the motif of patriarchal dominance that is present in the text of Linden Hills, specifically through Luther Nedeed III.
“The Entombed Maternal in Gloria Naylor’s Linden Hills” Eckard studies The Women of Brewster Place (1982), Mama Day (1988), and Bailey’s Café (1992), to show how Naylors novels are usually gynocentric or focused mainly on the development of a woman identity. Through this analysis Eckard indicates that “In certain respects, Willa’s search through “herstory” could be read as Naylor’s efforts to restore a sense of female community that is so critical in African and African American cultures”(796). These novels and their emphasis on the community, motherhood, and sisterhood of females, Eckard suggest, reveal Naylor’s concern for female “voice within patriarchal culture” (796).…show more content… Eckard suggest, “Luther’s treacherous reach into the lives of others perpetuates the sterile wasteland that Linden Hills has become. Through such means, he and his forefathers thus dominate the text and the community”(800). Eckard insist that this can be seen in Luther Nedeed III’s unusual and disturbing preparation of Lycentia Parker’s body which is an indication of his “attempt to extend patriarchal order beyond his own wife and home”