Summary Of Recitatif By Toni Morrison

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Nearing the centennial celebration of Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans still felt the persecution and despotism set forth by the “white man.” Regulations known as, “Jim Crow” laws were enforced in every aspect of life including education, transportation, and social outcasting. Toni Morrison portrays the true meaning of race by using two little girls, Twyla Benson and Roberta Fisk, in her story, “Recitatif”, to reveal a friendship between persons of a different cultural and ethnic background. Morrison, known for writing stories with “epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters,” keeps the races of the two girls ambiguous. By doing this, Morrison reveals the racial codes that were and…show more content…
Though their lifestyles are different, the hurts and pains of not having close relationship with their mothers still affect their life decisions. The racial barriers are still in place, kids are being bussed out of their familiar environments and placed in schools far away. Roberta, unlike her mother, tried to be in her children’s lives by picketing to keep from being bussed to a school out of district. Because of an illness, her mother was not able to be there for her. Twyla, on the other hand, did not mind having her son bussed. The attitudes exhibited here could be the product of how they were brought up. Although Roberta’s mother was sickly, the love she had for her child was never in doubt. On the other hand, Twyla was brought to the orphanage because her mother “couldn’t stop dancing” long enough to genuinely care for her, thus causing Twyla to have a nonchalant…show more content…
Almost twenty years after the Civil Rights Act was passed, “Recitatif”, a short story defining race by keeping it ambiguous, was published. In those times many people didn’t see journals, newspapers, and other literary works that addressed such ideas like “Recitatif” did. Morrison truly explores the world of race when she has two small girls, of different races to become friends in the 1950s, a time of civil disagreement between whites and blacks. By using racial codes to keep the races of the girls unknown, the young ladies would go into adulthood looking at life in different

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