Finishing School Maya Angelou Analysis

Decent Essays

Prejudice, discrimination, or opposition against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s race is superior is called racism. In stories “Finishing School” by Maya Angelou and “What’s in a Name?” by Henry Louis Gates Jr. racism is revealed by the main characters who showed similarities and differences within the time. Racism is portrayed in “Finishing School” and “What’s in a Name?” through the setting, circumstances, and characters reactions. In “Finishing School” the setting took place in the South of Arkansas in the late 1930s. The main character, Margaret, says, “During my tenth year, a white woman’s kitchen became my finishing school” (Angelou 108) shows how racist and segregated the setting was during that time period. Margaret mainly spent her time in the kitchen of Mrs. Cullinan’s house where she was learning her finishing school. She was also training her young life to be the maid of Mrs. Cullinan which was not fair because compared to the other white girls their finishing school was training to become good house wives. The phrase explains how Margaret describes her young life of being in a white woman’s kitchen and how racism reflects towards the setting of the story. In “What’s in a Name?” maybe the setting took place in the South of West Virginia between the years of 1955 when segregation was occurring. The main character, young Gates says, “… at the Cut-Rate Drug Store (where no black person in town but my father could sit down to eat, and

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