The white girl in the story is not revealed. All the chapters in the story are named after women characters, but none is named after the white girl shot in the beginning. However, the shooting of a white girl at the beginning of the story portrayed the high level of differences that existed among the people despite the name Paradise. The shooting of the white gave a first impression of discrimination on racial and gender grounds. The people who shot the white girl were all black men. This scenario clearly depicted a disagreement between the black men and the white women. The whole story of Paradise is dominated by negative themes of racism, fear, guilt, religion, feminism, ageism, mysticism and misogynism. Based on the themes in the story it is clear that war existed between the white and black towns (Morrison, 1998, 1- 3).
Paradise portrays a different picture of what the title or the name suggests. However, element of Paradise is depicted by people’s quest for a sound place where they would be warmly welcomed. Racism runs high as the white men are denied any kind of help in black town and hospitals. Ruby Morgan is one of the people who died after long journey that experienced denial and discrimination on a racial basis. The racial discrimination was too much for the white people which led to the creation or establishment of Ruby a town where the white families could enjoy acceptance and sharing.
Feminism took center stage in the story. This is depicted by the composition of the convent. The convent was made of women who were suffering from one problem to another. Most of their difficulties were initiated by men an indication that the men in the society described by the story had little appreciation of the men. The women in the convent had experiences of battering or any other nasty experience in the hands of men. Grace chapter is another chapter that brings the feminism as expressed in the story. In this chapter, Arnette gets a slap from K.D simply she was not giving K.D many options on the move to Ruby. Arnette is in a sensitive situation of pregnancy which does not allow physical encounter ((Morrison, 1998, 12-18). However, the feminism in K.D considers little of that, and he goes ahead to lay his hands on Arnette. Beating or deceiving women were not a new phenomenon in this society. Gigi is another female who gets to Ruby after being deceived by the boyfriend Mikey. Feminism as expressed by the story denied women within the society the opportunity of contribution.
Fear existed in the entire story both on men and women. Men faced denial or discrimination or racial while women lived and the fear of battering and being deceived by men. This clearly indicates a society with little trust. The same is passed on to religion as the convent a place meant to host Christian or the holy is attacked in fulfillment of hate ambitions. The convent hosted women with different problems that clear painted the whole society negatively.
From the happenings in the story, it is clear that everyone involved or who faced the challenges was eager to find a place of rest. The Ruby happened to the place or Paradise, that could offer the people (white) sound environment. Although the beginning of the story does not portray a Paradise environment, activities or fight within the story leads to the creation of a Paradise. In the end, both men and women found a sound place from discrimination. The foundation of Ruby was a Paradise to the people though it came at a price.