Professor Christopher Janus
3 December 2012
When I was younger, my mother signed me up for girl scouts at a very young age. Having my future in mind, she had me experience being a Daisy, a Brownie, and a Junior. Although I had to endure the pain of walking door to door to sell cookies and calendars to strangers when I could have been on the couch watching Power Rangers, being a girl scout certainly had interesting stories to remember for a very long time. However, none of my brownie camping stories can compare to ZZ Packer’s short story “Brownies”. The story is about an African American Brownie troop of six girls who went away to camp to find another Brownie troop was sharing the campgrounds with them. From the beginning of the trip,one of the brownies, Arnetta, discriminated on the other troop, who was white. The story is based around Arnetta claiming she heard a girl from the other troop call her fellow troop member Daphne “a nigger” and she nearly forces the rest of her troop seek revenge. Arnetta certainly has a dominant personality and makes the rules for her troop #909. Although Arnetta may seem drastic throughout the story, she also is the one with the responsibility of holding the troop together, and for a fourth grader, being a leader can add a great deal of pressure and may lead to ridiculous scenarios. From a reader’s perspective of the story, Arnetta is a young girl simply looking for trouble and picking fights, but from my perspective, she is following her gut feelings and taking leadership skills by helping her fellow troop members through times of need, she just didn’t grasp the proper resolution.
At the beginning of the story, when Arnetta first sees the troop of white girls arrive, she automatically discriminates on them saying they smell “like Chihuahuas. Wet Chihuahuas” (Packer 38). But in reality, she had no idea of their actual scent. After she claims that, she then proceeds to...