Essays On Recitatif

Essays On Recitatif-56
" The reader is left wondering not just about the answer, but also about the meaning of the question.Is it asking what happened to Maggie after the children left the orphanage?

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As Twyla and Roberta encounter each other sporadically through the years, their memories of Maggie seem to play tricks on them.

One remembers Maggie as black, the other as white, but eventually, neither feels sure.

Toni Morrison's short story, "Recitatif," appeared in 1983 in "Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women." It is Morrison's only published short story, though excerpts of her novels have sometimes been published as stand-alone pieces in magazines, such as "Sweetness," excerpted from her 2015 novel "God Help the Child." The two main characters in the story, Twyla and Roberta, are troubled by the memory of the way they treated — or wanted to treat — Maggie, one of the workers in the orphanage where they spent time as children.

"Recitatif" ends with one character sobbing, "What the hell happened to Maggie?

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Essays On Recitatif

Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.It is only when they are much older, with stable families and a clear recognition that Roberta has achieved greater financial prosperity than Twyla, that Roberta can finally break down and wrestle, at last, with the question of what happened to Maggie.uses cookies to personalize content, tailor ads and improve the user experience. Maggie had been brought up in an institution, just like Roberta's mother, so she must have presented a frightening vision of Roberta's possible future.To see the older girls kick Maggie — the future Roberta didn’t want — must have seemed like exorcising a demon.She yells that Twyla "kicked a poor old black lady when she was down on the ground...You kicked a black lady who couldn't even scream." Twyla finds herself less troubled by the accusation of violence — she feels confident that she would never have kicked anyone — than by the suggestion that Maggie was black, which undermines her confidence completely.Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison's powerful short story about the relationship between two girls over many years traces the subtle differences that both drive and separate us. What assumptions do we make about people from different races, ethnicities and cultures?Some of the social class tensions Morrison addresses spring from everyday life, others are apparent only because there are no racial labels in this story. Roberta asserts that Maggie didn't fall in the orchard, but rather, was pushed by the older girls.Later, at the height of their argument over school busing, Robert claims that she and Twyla participated, too, in kicking Maggie.


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