The Differences Of Main Characters In Recitatif By Toni Morrison

1043 Words5 Pages
In the story “Recitatif”, Toni Morrison portrays the lives of two girls from different racial backgrounds who are emotionally abandoned by their mothers. The main characters, Twyla and Roberta, are portrayed at different points in their life, ranging from when they were eight until their adulthood. Because of the situations with their mothers, Twyla and Roberta develop unhealthy senses of self-image and attempt to solve them with distractions. As time goes by, their characteristics become vastly different because of their lifestyles and outlooks. Although Twyla and Roberta both struggled with mother issues, they develop different reactions yet similar solutions to their troubles. During her stay at the youth shelter,…show more content…
Years after the restaurant incident, Twyla meets Roberta at the Food Emporium. Although Roberta had treated Twyla so harshly years earlier, she is overjoyed to see her. When Roberta meets Twyla, she states, “I got married to a man who lives here. And you, you’re married too right” (1409)? While Roberta has married a very rich man, Twyla has married a fireman named James (1408-10). Because of their marriages, Twyla and Roberta find peace and joy in their lives. Twyla begins to love her lifestyle because of her husband and his family. Roberta begins to live an even more lavish lifestyle than before because of her husband and seems to enjoy every moment of it. Because of mothers’ lack of emotional support, Twyla became very hard on herself and Roberta became self-righteous. Eventually, Twyla and Roberta find their source of validation through their marriages in different ways. As they become older and are married, Twyla and Roberta's characteristics begin to become more distinct. Before Twyla meets Roberta at the Food Emporium, she raves about her marriage and states, “He liked my cooking and I liked his big loud family” (1408). Twyla is pictured as a responsible, loving housewife. Her marriage had become an important part of her life and she enjoyed the responsibility. When both girls arrive at the Food Emporium, their characteristics become more prominent. Roberta is mentioned as being “dressed to kill” (1409) with “diamonds on her hand, [and] a smart white

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