The Red Girl and Annie John

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THE RED GIRL

HOMEWORK:

Why does Annie admire her so much?
Annie finds the Red Girl much more interesting than Gwen and the other girls at school because she is their opposite. She is different (hair, dress…) and she can climb trees ‘better than any boy’. Her mother pretty much lets her do whatever she wants.

What would Annie’s mother disapprove of?
The RG takes a bath once a week, whereas AJ takes 2 baths every day. A’s mother would never let her walk around without shoes on, or without a hat when it’s sunny (she doesn’t want her to get blacker). RG’s hair almost never gets combed, but AJ’s mother pays someone to do it everyday. AJ is forced to keep her uniform in perfect condition and always goes to Sunday school. She is also forbidden from being with boys.

What does playing marbles symbolize for Annie?
She thinks her luck at marbles is a sign of her perfect ‘new union’ with the Red Girl. It is also the first time she is defying something her mother outright forbid her to do.

Why does her mother not want her to play and what does it mean about gender stereotypes? Her mother does not want Annie to be ‘one of those girls’.

NOTES:

* The Red Girl is what Annie would be if she was free/without the British influence forced on her by her mother. * Guava – Caribbean fruit
* RG&AJ share the guava – sharing the Caribbean culture * //Garden of Eden, eating fruit and wanting to knowledge * RG is a revelation to her: “such people can exist”
* Marbles => emancipation
* RG plays marbles (she defies everything)
* Boys play marbles (boys are forbidden)
* AJ starts playing marbles (starts lying and stealing)
* Her mother seems ambivalent about her growing up, yet prevents her from doing many things => forcing her into a model – wants to cut her off from everything else adolescence opens up to * Marbles like a little globe (p.55) => rpz possibilities outside of what she knows * First time she defies something...
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