Recitatif - Essay Example

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Through the relationship between the stories two protagonists, Morrison explores the tensions and significance of race, as two individuals of different race, who form a friendship based upon…
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Download file to see previous pages hildhood relationship, it is the difference in their race which ultimately comes between them and leads to the conflict in their dwindling relationship.
The inactive character of Maggie, the mute lady who worked at the orphanage where the two first met, serves as a very active symbol through which the development of Twlya and Roberta’s racial separation can be traced (Androne 134). As children, the pair formed a strong friendship based on a shared background. During this time, race did not play a very central role beyond the difference in their physical appearance. In future recollections, neither can agree on the actual race of Maggie, which highlights the fact that racial identity was not an important factor during their time at the orphanage. Whereas Roberta asserts that Maggie was black, Twyla admits “I actually couldn’t be certain. She wasn’t pitch-black, I knew, or I would have remembered that. What I remember was the kiddie hat, and the semicircle legs,” (Morrison 2697). Instead, the vulnerability of Maggie’s character is what stands out to them as the hierarchal structure of the orphanage and fighting for their place in this, was their shared preoccupation during this time. Instead of the actual experience of the incident with Maggie in the orchard, it is in memories and shared recollections that the two consistently disagree on.
As the two meet again, their racial separation slowly becomes a growing issue. They both live in different parts of a racially-segregated society and they each come to represent different economic classes, as each marry men of varying wealth and professional status. The significance of race manifests when the town becomes engaged in bussing activities and each takes an opposing position. Here, the two must embody their own racial identity which inevitably leads to a direct confrontation about their racial differences. These differences are deepened even further by their diverse socio-economic statuses. The ensuing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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