Race in Recitatif

792 Words4 Pages
William Fountain
*Professor Undisclosed*
English 1102
Due: February 10, 2014
Race in Recitatif Recitatif is a story written by Toni Morrison. It is about characters Twyla and Roberta and their experiences during and after being put in a shelter. Race can change what a person’s motives are viewed as. Racial stereotyping and racial segregation play a big part in this story. Twyla and Roberta are of a different race/ethnicity which causes strife between the two and they have different opinion on things. It never truly states either characters race, but it says that they look like “salt and pepper”, indicating that one is white and one is black. Race affects a lot of things in any situation, no matter how much we want it not to.
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Instead of outright saying which is which, you figure it out based on racial stereotyping. In most cases we should not racially stereotype or even stereotype at all. But the author uses it in such a way that it is okay in this instance. Without this racial stereotyping, you would never know which is “salt” and which is “pepper”. Racial stereotyping gives you the information needed to know from which racial background each character comes from. After everything that happened in the shelter both characters eventually left the shelter. Twyla became a waitress and Twyla did some drugs and became a part of the bad crowd. When they saw each other again, Twyla was happy to see Roberta, but Roberta didn’t feel the same way due to her attitude towards her. They moved on. Both characters got married and had families. They then met in again in a supermarket and Roberta had a good attitude towards Twyla. Depending on whom she was with and what part of her life she was in, Roberta’s attitude towards Twyla would change. This is a racial stereotype. Roberta again had a bad racial attitude towards Twyla when she started picketing and protesting things about the school system and racial issues. While Twyla was okay with segregation in the school system and blacks going to one school while whites went to another, Roberta was not okay with it. She was actually strongly against it. She felt that
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