Topic: Maya Angelou's tone in “What’s Your Name, Girl?” Name: chia chih wei
Date: March 26, 2011
MAYA ANGELOU'S TONE IN “WHAT’S YOUR NAME, GIRL?”
In the better part of the story Maya Angelou’s tone is full of contempt and anger for her employer. This however, is not the only tone that keen readers can identify in Angelou’s story. At some point in her narration, the author shows pity and mildness. She has a human heart and where necessary she shows pity on her employer.
Margret a black lady employed by a white family narrates her encounter with her boss. Most of the time, Margret is always complaining about her mistreatment by Mrs. Cullinan. She feels that one of the main reasons she is being mistreated is because she is black. Working alongside another employee who goes by the name Glory, Margret seems to have issues even with the appearance of her boss. She (Margret) describes her boss as “singularly unattractive until she smiled”. Margret even goes ahead to say that her boss had to keep smiling all day so as to mask her ugliness. The narrator, to show her contempt indicates that Mrs. Cullinan with her ugliness was lucky to have a husband “above or beneath her station.
At some other point in the story, the author changes her mood from that of full contempt and anger to a mild tone. This is witnessed in Margret’s dialogue with Miss Glory. Margret gets to learn that Mrs. Culllinan has no children of her own because she is barren. Margret pities her and wonders why such a fat woman could not deliver a single child for her husband. It is only at this point that the tone of the story is mild otherwise the rest of the story the narration is full of anger and contempt.
Maya Angelou uses the narrator (Margret) to show the anger she has against the white family of Mrs. Cullinan. The narrator at some point in the story is angered by the fact her boss cannot call...