Relationship Between Mothers and Daughters in Toni Morrison's Recitatif

Topics: Toni Morrison / Pages: 19 (4740 words) / Published: Aug 14th, 2013
PS 20th century American Family in Fiction Summer 2012 Professor Tara E. Friedman

Relationship between mothers and daughters in Toni Morrison's “Recitatif“

Karolin Lattisch Brinkstraße 3 17489 Greifswald Lehramt Gym Eng/ Ru 128126 6th semester




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1.1 The author – Toni Morrison 2. 3. Introducing “Recitatif“ Relationship between mothers and daughters

3.1 Relationship between Twyla and her mother 3.2 Relationship between Roberta and her mother 3.3 Role of Maggie 4. Conclusion


1. Introduction Although Toni Morrison is best known for African – American literature, I do not want to put all my focus on this topic. The short story “Recitatif” contents many issues which are worth analyzing, but I want to concentrate on mother – daughter relationships. When I first read the story I was instantly fascinated by the two central characters Twyla and Roberta and how they deal with the abandonment of their mothers. Furthermore I was impressed how different relationships between mothers and daughters can be. For the first time I really started thinking about which kind of issues mothers and daughters can have, and of course, I thought of my own relationship with my mother. First of all I want to present the life of Toni Morrison with reference to her own family. I think it is important to have a closer look at the author in terms of understanding and maybe interpreting a short story. After that I will briefly introduce “Recitatif” and go on with presenting the different relationships between mothers and daughters. My next focus lies on the main characters, Twyla and Roberta, and how their specific relationships with their mothers are defined. The last last point before my conclusion is the role Maggie plays in the short story. One could think she does not play a big role, but when you take a look under the surface one has to agree that she is very important to the girls Twyla and Roberta. When I

Bibliography: of Twentieth – Century Women 's Literature. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1993. Gillespie, Carmen. Critical Companion to Toni Morrison. A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work. New York: Facts on File Incorporated, 2008. Li, Stephanie. Toni Morrison. A Biography. Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2010. Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark. Whiteness and Literary Imagination. Cambridge: Paperback, 1992. Soanes, Catherine. Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Taylor-Guthrie, Danille. Conversations with Toni Morrison. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994. Thomann Tewarson, Heidi. Toni Morrison. Hamburg: Rowohlt – Taschenbuch – Verlag, 2005. 14

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