Black People and Roberta S Race Essay

1431 WordsFeb 8, 20156 Pages
The Forgery of a Friendship Toni Morrison uses class codes to describe the main characters in her short story, “Recitatif.” Morrison made it a point to not use racial codes. Within doing this she is “forced as a writer not to be lazy” (Shappell). In the interview with Shappell, Morrison explains that the two girls are different races, one white and one black. The catch is that you are not sure which one is white and which one is black. The style is used to make the reader think. Morrison had to write about the girls in a complex manner, “Soon as I say, ‘Black woman…’ I can rest on or provoke predictable responses, but if I leave it out then I have to talk about her in a complicated way – as a person.” There is meant to be a sense of…show more content…
Roberta says, “Oh, Twyla, you know how it was in those days: black – white. You know how everything was” (618). Twyla did not believe her for a second though. She knew she was just using that as an excuse to try and cover up for being an awful friend. The third time they met outside of the school was just as unpleasant as the first. Now Twyla was the one that egged on the nastiness of their behavior. She was being snarky and rude just to get a reaction out of Roberta. The one that hit home the most to me was the exchange of “I used to curl your hair.” “I hated your hands in my hair.” (619). When I read that line, I could picture it being said so clearly. That was also a huge insult to race. We do not know which is which, but we know that Twyla is implying that she does not want someone of Roberta’s race to touch her. With this, Twyla implies that Roberta is filthy. The last time that they met was in a diner a few days before Christmas. This meeting consisted of Roberta apologizing and explaining to Twyla why she had said what she had said before. The story ends with Roberta in tears at the diner saying “Oh shit, Twyla. Shit, shit, shit. What the hell happened to Maggie?” (623). Race is an important factor in the story. The reader is supposed to be confused about Twyla and Roberta, but there are other cases that are meant to be confusing. Another example where there is confusion about race is with

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