Racism and Ethnicity Issues in Morrison, O´Connor, and Kingston´s Novels

1754 WordsJun 20, 20188 Pages
The central problem in Flannery O’Connor’s story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, Maxine Hong Kingston’s “The Woman Warrior”, and Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif”, revolve on the issue of race. Morrison and O’Connor focus on the theme of race specifically between blacks and whites in America. It could be said that Kingston’s “The Woman Warrior” concentrates on the racial difference between Asian and Caucasian but race is not made to be a big issue in this novel, since almost all of the characters is ethnically Chinese. Instead, the relationships are more marked by nationality. The characters in Jhumpa Lahiri’s collection of stories “Interpreter of Maladies”, are of Indian origin and deal with the problem of ethnicity. In “Everything…show more content…
All the African American characters, meanwhile, take advantage of the growing equality as an equal class of citizens. It is not surprising, therefore, that the black man Julies tries to befriend is the best-dressed person on the bus or that the large black woman with the hat strikes Julian’s mother for having offered Carver a penny. In Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif”, the underlying theme deals with racism. An interesting twist is the mystery of the girls’ race. Morrison has described the story as "an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for which racial identity is crucial”. Leaving clues, but never stating whether Twyla or Roberta was black or white, Morrison makes it clear that the girls come from different ethnic backgrounds. At one point in the essay Twyla comments, “That we looked like salt and pepper”. Though the characters are clearly separated by class, neither is affirmed as African American or Caucasian. Morrison never states the race of the girls for a purpose: to make the reader form his/her own opinion. There are many instances that Morrison uses things that are stereotypically “black” or Antoniou 4 “white”. Morrison thrives off the stereotypes people have set for blacks and whites. For example, Twyla’s mother told her that “those” people smelled funny because they didn’t wash their hair. This might suggest that Roberta was black because she believes that

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