Did she on some subconscious level realize this irony and dichotomy? She does not deal with it in her book, but on some Freudian level it is certainly possible that she did.
To recap, both of the authors Elaine Tyler May and Ann Moody see the institution of the family as something that was a mixture of limiting and liberating influences both for men and women during the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, but much less so in the case of Moodys book for blacks. Even the experience of the Civil Rights movement was bittersweet. These limitations were a mixture of good and bad, depending on a persons perspective. As the May book points out, the families that were established by marriages in the 1940s were especially stable.
Moodys family experience was also essentially stable. Religion gave her some succor, but essentially the issues that plagued her due to racial discrimination were not answered to her satisfaction and she was left cynical and disillusioned. This disillusionment was reflected in the white society as well and the social upheaval of the 1960s was the almost inevitable consequence of high expectations and lack of fulfillment of their lifelong hopes and dreams.
White or black, this American society was brought into question by the young people of the 1960s that Essie May represented. While we still are not sure of the results of this revolution, one thing is certain. Like the fallen former Soviet Union, the Cold War is gone forever and we can not be sure of results as things have not yet played out to their conclusion. In the same way, revolutions sometime consume their own children, men and women. Essie May was in many ways one of these casualties of the Civil Rights movement and of “domestic containment.” Ironically, the very world she aspired to, the technological paradise that was offered to white families was the very one she was locked out of. Certainly, it took another generation or more for many of the Civil Rights generation to see their work come to fruition.
May, Elaine Tyler. (1990). Homeward bound: american families in the cold war era. New York City: Basic Books.
Moody, Anne. (1992). Coming of age in Mississippi. New York City:.