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How To Date A Browngirl Blackgirl Whitegirl Analysis

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Narrative voice is integral in bringing about a particular idea, in order to aid in the development of the plot. In Diaz’s “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl or Halfie”, narrative voice plays an integral role in showing the vulnerability of the narrator. Diaz chose to use the second person point of view to demonstrate a relationship between the narrator and the audience. Throughout the piece, the narrator imparts dating advice to his audience, encouraging a shift in aspects of one’s image in order to avoid judgement. Similarly, in Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog”, narrative voice is essential in developing Gurov’s vulnerabilities, as he fears being unable to satisfy women or escape his mundane life.
Diaz’s “How to
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In preparation for a date, the narrator suggests that the audience hide aspects that could potentially harm the impression he leaves on his date. This is first developed by the narrator’s instruction to “clear the government cheese from the refrigerator” (Diaz 394), in an effort to hide the evidence of the fact that the family are Welfare beneficiaries, as government cheese is often purchased with food stamps. The narrator goes on to explain that where the cheese is hidden depends on where the girl is from, stating “if the girl’s from the Terrace stack the boxes behind the milk. If she’s from the Park or Society Hill hide the cheese in the cabinet above the oven, way up where she’ll never see” (Diaz 394). The narrator’s vulnerability is evident here, as the need to mask these physical aspects out of fear of judgement is apparent in the need to place the cheese out of plain sight for girls from the Terrace, suggesting that they won’t care enough to look around, and that these aspects are familiar to them, thus won’t disrupt the portrayal narrator’s desired image. On the other hand, if the girl is from a more affluent area, the government cheese must be hidden in a more elaborate place. The narrative voice here insinuates that the appearance of food stamps will deem the audience as…show more content…
Charters notes that the “second person narration, you, is less common” and used to create a “dramatic intimacy” (Charters 1684). This intimacy created by Diaz’s work through his choice to use a second person point of view is to create a self-reflective work, appearing as if the narrator is looking back on a younger version of himself, as if a letter to himself at fifteen years old. This is apparent in the opening paragraph of the text, in which Diaz writes “wait for your brother and your mother to leave the apartment” (Diaz 394). It is safe to rule out that the narrator is talking to a brother, as it is unlikely that the narrator would refer to himself in third person. If the narrator was talking to another relative, such as a cousin, it is still assumed that he would refer to his aunt in a more affectionate way than “your mother”. Even more so, the mention of the audience’s “tia who likes to squeeze your nuts” (Diaz 394) is a very intimate detail that would not be public knowledge shared to those outside of the encounter. Another aspect that leads to the claim that the narrator is looking back on a younger version of himself is the narrator’s awareness of the Central American customs found within the audience’s home, for instance, the “basket with all the crapped-on toilet paper under the sink” (Diaz 394). This
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