For Colored Girls

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Women endure a lot of strife throughout their lives particularly African American women. Women have been beaten, raped, torn down, and stripped of their dignity and self-esteem yet they still remain strong. Much has been sacrificed by them through their gender and race and much can be gained through communication and understanding. Great pain and emotional turmoil is endured and at times some women don’t know how to handle it. Ultimately, women may lose sight of themselves and lose their identities to the negativity that surrounds their lives. Shange depicts the trials and tribulations of African American women and the ability to overcome them as well as portrays the search for identity in “For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.” Through the lack of punctuation, innovative syntax, and vernacular spelling Shange presents a choreopoem that grasped the minds of the readers’. Shange implemented Amiri Baraka’s style and radical use of slashes, lower case letters, phonetic spelling and dialect (Black Drama, 26). This is significant to the understanding of this poem because it shows Shange refuses to follow the guidelines of American writers. Shange also employs these methods to reveal the ideas that punctuation has been used to limit and control the natural flow of language. Her word choice and vernacular spelling helps to create the imagery of the identities of the characters in the poem. These techniques draw the reader in to make it seem as if the characters are speaking directly to them. Shange introduces a character she calls the “lady in green”. She speaks about a man who almost ran off with all of her things. “Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff, not my poems or a dance i gave up in the street, but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin”(Shange, line 1-4). Shange uses a lot of metaphors to show how the lady in green is feeling. Stuff is a metaphor for...
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