13 September 2012
My Name Is Margaret
Investigate and discuss the narrator’s attitude shifts as she achieves her identity.
In the introduction of the essay, the narrator is informative of how it was like to live in that specific time period. Margaret differentiated between a white girl and a black girl growing up in the south. Maya Angelou claimed, “While white girls learned to waltz and sit gracefully with a tea cup balanced on their knees, we were lagging behind, learning the mid-Victorian values with very little money to indulge them” ( Angelou 11-14). White girls’ goals in this time period were to grow up and get married to a guy that has money. Black girls’ goals were to grow up with the education needed to be able to support their family.
In this time period it was a huge issue that blacks’ weren’t treated fair. Most white women didn’t speak their true opinions, they normally followed in the steps of the socialites of their town. Blacks’ mainly didn’t speak up because they were scared of the outcome it would bring upon them and their family. This caused the society to not change much. Throughout years people started to get fed up with how things were and started to try to make a change. Margaret grew up learning how to work for a white woman. She learned all the necessities of keeping a house upright. She learned how to crotchet, to wash and iron, to set the table with real silver, and to cook. She learned these skills by experience and of what her mom taught her.
Margaret’s attitude in the beginning of the essay is morose. She describes how white girls are taught and raised in a different lifestyle. She does not add negative thoughts to what she is describing. Though she isn’t negative she is also not positive of how things are. Angelou states, “ During my tenth year, a white woman’s kitchen became my finishing school” ( Angelou 29-30). Margaret didn’t get a complete education...