Recitatif

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  • Published : February 3, 2013
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Twyla and Roberta are the main characters in Recitatif while Maggie and the “Gar Girls” are used to emphasize the main point of the short-story. Twyla came from a poor family and remained in the same status when she was grown but even so led a happy life while marrying for love despite her financial troubles. On the other hand Roberta derives from a wealthy family and found a husband to continue her wealthy lineage although I highly doubt she married for love she appeared to be content with her life. These girls came to know each other from their stay at an orphan home in Saint Bonny’s when they were eight years old. The “Gar Girls” were your typically misunderstood teenaged girls who have gone through tough times and took out their troubles and frustrations on those who could not defend themselves. Maggie was an older lady with a disability who worked as a lunch lady at Saint Bonny’s and was also one the victims of the “Gar Girls” witnessed by Twyla and Roberta. The author did not directly reveal the races of these characters so in the beginning of the story while the main characters were in the orphanage I subconsciously assumed Twyla was an African-American girl while Roberta appeared to be a Caucasian girl due to the steady supply of stereotypes given throughout the story such as comparing them to salt and pepper. But as the story progressed and the main characters reflected upon the Maggie incident where Roberta originally claimed Maggie was black and that they both kicked her, Twyla only disagreed that Maggie was not black but didn’t argue with the fact that they had both kicked Maggie. At the end of the story Roberta admits she does not remember whether Maggie was actually black or white and left me without an answer of what Twyla and Roberta’s actual race was when the author ended the story with "Oh shit, Twyla. Shit, shit, shit. What the hell happened to Maggie?”
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