"Towanda!" Magazine Americana: The American Popular Culture Online Magazine. August 2001. Retrieved on 2007-10-24.
Idgie, who had already seen Ruth with a black eye acquired from her abusive husband Frank Bennett (Nick Searcy), drives to Valdosta, Georgia, to get Ruth and bring her back to Whistle Stop. While she is moving Ruth out of her husband's house, Frank returns and tries to stop Ruth from leaving. Idgie, with the help of two men she brought with her, attacks and threatens Frank who finally capitulates and allows Ruth to leave the house. As they all drive away, Idgie yells "Towanda," the name for the assertive, warrior-like alter ego she has created.
This story profoundly affects Evelyn who starts using the call "Towanda" herself. She stops consuming junk food, starts working out, quits those silly women's meetings, stops cooking her husband dinner every night, begins a career selling Mary Kay cosmetics, and tears down a wall in her house to let in more air and light--a task Edna Pontellier would definitely approve.
Westmoreland, Kalene. Interior Revolutions: Doing Domesticity, Advocating Feminism in Contemporary American Fiction. Diss. Louisiana State University, 2006. 102.
Celie’s prison of isolation is enforced by abuse; Evelyn’s sense of isolation is exacerbated by the complications of changing societal and cultural expectations about women’s roles. Both women endure a cathartic period of rage; whereas Celie directs hers towards her oppressor, Mr. ___, sewing instead as a strategy of healing herself from the damaging effects of that rage, Evelyn directs her secret rage at every facet of society, creating the character Towanda the Avenger to cope with her suppressed anger. Flagg uses Evelyn’s rage to demonstrate the necessity of engaging with other women to gain subjectivity. By entering into conversations with other women, through Ninny, thus joining a larger sisterhood of women with domestic and social concerns, Evelyn further rejects the prescriptive ideologies of gender, race, and class, which have stifled her. Evelyn’s need for discourse extends into the realm of imagination, as she carries Towanda with her everywhere. After being “raped by words” by a boy at the supermarket, Evelyn’s damaged ego and fragile sensibilities give way to her previously censored feminism. Imagining that Idgie would not have let propriety or femininity prevent her from righting wrongs, Evelyn allows Towanda to take over her imagination and emotions.
Few people who saw this plump, pleasant-looking middle-aged housewife out
shopping or doing other menial everyday chores could guess that, in her imagination, she was machine gunning the genitals of rapers and stomping abusive husbands to death in her specially designed wife-beater boots . . . Towanda [was] so busy all day that Evelyn was exhausted by bedtime. No wonder. Tonight, while Evelyn was cooking dinner, Towanda had just put a roomful of porno and child exploitation film producers to death. And later, as Evelyn was washing the dishes, Towanda was in the process of single-handedly blowing up the entire Middle East to prevent the Third World War. And so, when Ed yelled from the den for another beer, somehow, before Evelyn could stop her,Towanda yelled back, “SCREW YOU, ED!” (238-240)