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The Influence of Grandparent Sin a Childs Life

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Most children look up to their parents. They follow their ways of life, and learn how to act in life from them. However, in "Inspired Eccentricity" by Bell Hooks, she talks about how her grandparents were her inspiration ion life. Her mother was not her own person, and only strived to fit in with everyone else. Her grandparents however were two completely different people. Different from each other and different from everyone else. They showed Hooks two very different views on life. One taught her how to be a strong, outspoken woman, and the other taught her to be mellow, and caring.

Hooks grandmother, Baba, was a strong woman. She did not know how to read or write, but that didn't stop her from being a huge inspiration to Hooks. Baba was the kind of woman that would put you in your place if she felt the need to. She sought out power in language; she could tell anyone anything without being worried of hurting their feelings or being judged. She believed in herself, and wanted everyone else to do the same. "Our Mama was not given to loud speech or confrontation. I learned all those things from Baba - 'to stand up and speak up' and not to 'give a goddamn' what folk who 'ain't got a pot to pee in' think" (Hooks 423). In this, Hooks is referring to the fact that her grandmother taught her to speak up for herself and to always say what's on her mind. Something that is an amazing lesson for anyone, and especially, a future writer. "It was pure blasphemy for Baba to teach that it did not matter what other folks thought--'Ya have to be right with yaself in ya own heart--that's all that matter.' Baba taught me to listen to my heart - to follow it" (Hooks 423).

Hooks also learned a lot from her grandfather, Daddy Gus. He was a kind, quite man. A deacon in his church; he was very religious. He was a lot more affectionate than Baba was and had a more relaxed atmosphere than she did. When Hooks was younger, she would sit by Daddy Gus and all her childhood anxiety and fears would disappear due to his calm and anxious free aura. "I remember clinging to his tenderness when nothing I did was right in my mother's eyes, when I was constantly punished" (Hooks 424). "He gave me the unconditional love I longed for" (Hooks 422). These two quotes describe the feelings she felt for her grandfather. He was there for her when her mother didn't understand her. He understood because that's the kind of person he was. He took the time to listen to what other people thought and accepted it. He loved being a kind and caring person. He loved Hooks no matter what she did; this was something she needed in life. Someone to show her how to love.

Both her grandparents shared equal parts in guiding her through life. They taught her how to see things and how to interpret them. "She taught me to really



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