Brown Girl, Brownstones

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  • Topic: Girl, 2000 singles
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  • Published : March 11, 2013
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The Psychological Journey of Selina Boyce
Selina Boyce’s character in Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall is a strong, brave, and intelligent one. She is also opinionated and determined. She was not always like this, however. Different experiences in her life cause her to become the young lady she is now. For example, she needs to be strong to cope with the death of her father, and the loss of her boyfriend. She is opinionated because of how she views the association as opposed to how everyone else views it. She is also determined because she finds different ways she could leave her brownstones house in Brooklyn. As a child, Selina probably did not think she would be faced with any of these incidents. Her mental state at that age was not as mature as when she grows up. It is because of the many events taking place in her life that develops her psychologically. Yet, there are plenty of similarities between the young and the older Selina in terms of the way they think and feel.

The novel begins when Selina is of age ten. She is described as “a ten-year-old girl with scuffed legs and a body as straggly as the clothes she wore.” (2). However, it is stated that there is some old wisdom, behind her eyes. It is as though they are “weighted, it seemed, with scenes of a long life.” (2). It continues to say that she is aware of the world beyond her house, and is still willing to leave into it. So it is made known that from young age Selina has this vast knowledge that goes beyond her time. That and her desire to be a part of something much bigger than what she experiences every day is something that travels with her all her years. Her ability to dream only matures with her. When she is younger, she dreams of being included in the family that lived in the house before her and what it would be like to be of such class. “She threw her head back until it trembled proudly on the stalk of her neck and, holding up her imaginary gown, she swept downstairs to the parlor...
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