Race in Recitatif

Topics: Black people, Race and Ethnicity, White people Pages: 3 (798 words) Published: March 24, 2014
William Fountain
*Professor Undisclosed*
English 1102
Due: February 10, 2014
Race in Recitatif
Recitatif is a story written by Toni Morrison. It is about characters Twyla and Roberta and their experiences during and after being put in a shelter. Race can change what a person’s motives are viewed as. Racial stereotyping and racial segregation play a big part in this story. Twyla and Roberta are of a different race/ethnicity which causes strife between the two and they have different opinion on things.

It never truly states either characters race, but it says that they look like “salt and pepper”, indicating that one is white and one is black. Race affects a lot of things in any situation, no matter how much we want it not to. Some statements give you an idea of which is which. Twyla’s ethnicity is indicated by Jimi Hendrix and Roberta’s by the statement, “you know how it was with black and white back then”. Twyla appears to be white and Roberta appears to be black in this story. Another thing that indicates it is that Roberta is completely against busing but Twyla is not. Plus they both thought that Maggie was of their own race. Twyla thought she was white and Roberta thought she was black. Also, each others attitudes towards each other or toward others also indicates which is white and which is black. Although neither character can remember exactly what happened with Maggie, the mute lady that worked at the shelter, each character had their own attitudes towards it. Roberta that it was more acceptable that Maggie was beaten than Twyla did because Roberta thought Maggie was black, while Twyla didn’t think she was because she thought Maggie was white. Each character has their own viewpoint on exactly what had happened that day due to their race which gave them a different attitude towards the situation. Also, Twyla thought she fell and the older girls laughed at her versus Roberta thinking she was tripped and beaten.

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