What is Precious like as a character?

Published 11 Apr 2017

“Don’t anybody like me. Don’t anybody need me. I know who I am…ugly black grease to be wipe away, punish, kilt, changed, finded a job for.” [p.33]

This is how Precious Jones, the main character in Push, a book written by Sapphire, views herself. She is black a sixteen year-old girl who is now pregnant of her second child—her second child with her own Child. She is also physically abused by her won mother who gives her punches instead of caresses. She was twelve when she had her first child—the father is also her father.

At the start of the novel, Precious was basically described as “unattractive.”

Precious, who loves going to school yet she has remained illiterate She greatly love going to school but the school, she said, do not like her [p. 38]. Their school principal then decided to transfer her to a special class where students also have experiences like hers. In that class is where she found the true meaning of friendship and eventually herself.

When she learned how to write she eventually kept a journal where she wrote her thoughts about life, about herself, about the society.

It was Miss Rain who helped her first in the story. She was the one taught her how to read and write which gave her some sort of self-esteem. She trusted Miss Rain that she was able to open up her unpleasant experiences. It was also Miss Rain who taught her some important lessons about life that Precious needs to learn.

At the start, Precious was not open to the idea of homosexuality and she did not have a positive outlook towards black men.

The story merely reflects how the society is guilty of prejudice. Precious, at first, didn’t


The story merely reflects how the society is guilty of prejudice. Precious, at first, didn’t like being black as she witnessed how the society treats them. She was very negative towards life. Her self-esteem, evidently, was very low.

Precious doesn’t comprehend the consequences of Black Nationalism. She was not aware at the start that that not all about Farrakhan is positive. She doesn’t know that disgusting gays or Jews or foreign persons is unfavorable to her. What’s been detrimental to her is being deprived, being maltreated, and being not conversant.

Precious in the end of the story, became more mature than her age. She was able to appreciate the beauty and blessings that life has to offer despite the world’s cruelty. Her horizon about the society widen as she learned the profound things in life.

As a mother, she learned to love. From a very bitter one from the start, she was able to cope with the complexities that life had showed her.

It is remarkable how the author was able to represent Precious’ eyes as the eyes of the society. That what Precious saw in the start is actually a representation on how the society views the plights of Precious.

As an old adage say, everything happens for a purpose. What happened to Precious might be necessary for her to appreciate more the beautiful things in life.

The book was entitled “Push”, perhaps, because the start of the novel was giving birth—she was “pushing” her baby out.

Precious is an extraordinary, brilliant, inspiring character for the young women. As she tries to improve herself, her mother did contradictory actions. Her life takes a noteworthy twist.

Sapphire, without doubt, made an excellent literary work.


  • Sapphire. Push. USA: Vintage Books: 1996.
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