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Response Paper #3 - Essay Example

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Even after the Civil War and the formal destruction of slavery, a certain undertone of racism still exists in the social relations. It is about the way the blacks and the whites perceive each other’s culture…
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Response Paper #3
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Response Paper #3

Download file to see previous pages... The short story ‘Recitatif’ by Toni Morrison brings out the racial relations in America even after the country became free and slavery was system was destroyed. The story essentially focuses on the friendship between two girls of opposite races meeting as children. They meet at St. Bonny’s and are roommates. They are similar in many ways. The most ambiguous part is the identification of their race, which is not clearly mentioned for any of them. Initially it seems that Twyla is white and Roberta is black but later in the middle of the story it seems the opposite and then again the vision somewhat changes towards the end of the story. However after careful examination of the details one would say that Roberta is black. The most important part here is the racial difference. The difference is so severe that it is carried over to the children in schools. Towards the end of the story one finds the mothers (racially opposite groups) fighting for their rights. The story outlines the typical life style of an Afro-American girl who drops in and out of school and could not read. She (Roberta) is taken to drugs and wears large earrings, curls and has an appointment to meet Jimi Hendrix, a black singer. However when she meets Twyla after several years, she behaves coldly towards her. Later she explains it was because of the racial social structure –“Twyla, you know how it was in those days: black-white. You know how everything was” (Morrison, 255). The inner bonding between the two girls is quite strong and prominent but the social structure prevents them from free expression of the affection they share. They make it up in the end and Roberta, who accused Twyla of kicking a black woman Maggie (who perhaps was not black at all), clarifies her mistake to Twyla and explains that she need not carry the guilt anymore. The friendship ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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