Recitatif By Toni Morrison: A Literary Analysis

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What is the meaning of race in today’s society? Well, according to Cliff Notes, the term race refers to, “Groups of people who have differences and similarities in biological traits deemed by society to be socially significant” (“Race”), or simplified, people who are similar in culture. However, people in today’s society, race may be more than that. It may mean that they are naturally extremely smart, or they live in a sketchy place, or they are naturally poor. In the short novel “Recitatif”, Toni Morrison addresses these stereotypes, and doesn’t outright say which girl is black, or which one is white. She does this to address three main points on race, and to show that one’s race doesn’t automatically make those people those stereotypes. The first issue of race Morrison discusses is that while two people, in this case girls, who have different races shouldn’t mean…show more content…
Once again, at the beginning of the story Roberta and Twyla had similar personalities or interests even though they were different races. It may have seemed like these girls were “forced” to become friends because of their rooming together, but that’s not the case. They became friends because they needed each other in this time of their lives, in which their mothers are both unavailable for them. For example: “But I didn’t know. I thought it was just the opposite. Busloads of blacks and whites came into Howard Johnson’s together. They roamed together then: students, musicians, lovers, protesters. You got to see everything at Howard Johnson’s and blacks were very friendly with whites in those days (139)”. Morrison is talking about back at the orphanage, the two girls didn’t care whether their skin color was different, they still loved each other and cared for each other as if they were both the same

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