Gorilla, My Love Essay

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Trustworthiness is an important element in a relationship. It is the groundwork for dependability between two people, and from it, relationships grow and mature. When that trust is shattered, it creates a barrier between the two people. What defines a legal agreement with a business partner from a silly promise made to a child? In a child’s eyes, there is no distinction. A promise is a promise. In Toni Cade Bambara’s “Gorilla, My Love,” the evolving perspective of the distinction between an act of betrayal and the breaking of a juvenile pact is scrutinized through an incident between a child, Hazel, and her uncle, Hunca Bubba. Hazel is a fiery little girl. She is strong-willed and openly opinionated, and believes that “when you got …show more content…

Hazel is under the impression that there is no difference. A promise is a promise, and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The suggestion that the perception of trustworthiness may evolve with age is something to consider. Hunca Bubba admits that he is not the same person he used to be, and neither he nor Grandpa recognizes how serious this act of betrayal is in the eyes of young Hazel. Hazel’s family was generally open to what she had to say and could often see her point of view, but Granddaddy
Vale said the “name changing business was different” and that “it wasn’t like Hunca Bubba had gone back on his word or anything” (297). However, in Hazel’s eyes it “ain’t the way I saw it at all”(297). She is distraught by the fact that Hunca Bubba does not acknowledge going back on his word as a serious act of betrayal. Hazel has a very close connection with Hunca Bubba. She explains that he has “been my Hunca Bubba my whole life” (294). Hunca Bubba is an important adult in Hazel’s life. She is deeply hurt by his dishonesty, and she compares it to the chicanery of the theater capitalists with her narration of the deceptive incident at the movie theater. In both situations, Hazel feels betrayed by adults. She is under the impression that “grownups figure they can treat you just anyhow” (295). Bambara displays the distinct contradictions in how children perceive situations and how adults perceive those same

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