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Black and Dull - Essay Example

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Full name Professor Subject Date Black and Dull Sembene Ousmane’s “Black Girl” portrays racial discrimination, prejudice, deceit and the vulnerability of the uneducated poor. It pictures the sad life of a young and hopeful girl from Casamance who dreamed to see the beauty of France when she was offered to join her masters in their country…
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Black and Dull
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"Black and Dull"

Download file to see previous pages Rather, Diouna, the black girl, was mistreated, abused. She had no family, relatives or friends to help her in her helpless situation. There was no one to comfort her but herself. Nevertheless, it is said that “no man is an island” and when isolation was the only thing there was to comfort her, Diouna showed that death is sweeter than life. The story is set in the 1960s when racial discrimination was still so strong. Although the number of characters is limited, they exemplified the majority of cases among the Black employees and White employers. Between Madame Pouchet and Diouna there was nothing that would tie them together but the relationship of employer-employee. Pouchet was not obligated to be good to her maid but she went the extra mile of being generous to her while they were still in Africa. However, the future eventually revealed her motives. She was not actually as generous and good as she showed in Africa. She discriminated her maid. Diouana never went out of the house but continually worked for the family and a visitor. There was no freedom, no day of rest but a pile of work to do and a bunch of demanding family members in exchange for a mere three thousand Francs a month. Madame Pouchet knows how difficult Diouana’s situation is because during their earlier vacations, she often had to do the household chores herself and take care of her own two children. Her former maids were not only paid higher salaries but they also demanded a day off and she often had to fire them. Yet she was not considerate about the Black girl’s needs. She knows that there is nothing Diouna could do once she is with them in another country. She proved to be harsh. Probably, Pouchet’s true colors can be said to have been revealed when they were in France as it is shown with her words to Diouna before she took her life saying, “But to find you telling lies, like a native, that I don’t like” (776). In reaction, the Black girl’s lips trembled, probably showing extreme anger that led her to just end her life. For the other harassments she experienced in the Pouchet family, Diouana was simply described to have been exasperated but not angry. Yet the discriminatory comments of Madame Pouchet brought her to the peak of her impatience. In addition, the children became a burden not only because of the demand for her to work harder but because of the psychological abuse they have devised against Diouna. The oldest child called friends and led them into taunting her with a chant of “Black girl, Black girl. She’s as black as midnight” (773). She was, to the very sense of it, a slave. She was mocked but still did everything to their liking and was left with nothing but three thousand Francs. She was not just a cook, nursemaid, and chambermaid for the family but to the friends and extended family of the Pouchets as well as she was taken from villa to villa to serve family and friends. She was, in her own words, “Bought, bought. Sold, sold” (775). To make things worse, when they went to the commodore’s residence, “some silly people, who followed her about, hanging on her heels in the kitchen, had been there for dinner. Their presence was an oppressive shadow on her slightest movement. She had the feeling of not knowing how to do anything” (774). Since she was Black, a girl from an uncivilized nation, the people judged her as ignorant. Maybe she was, but not in manners they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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