Summary Of The Novel 'Brown Girl' By Paule Marshall

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Who am I? Really?
African? Barbadian? American? Black?
“I realise that it is fashionable now to dismiss the traditional novel as something of an anachronism, but to me it is still a vital form. Not only does it allow for the kind of full-blown, richly detailed writing that I love… but it permits me to operate on many levels and to explore both the inner state of my characters as well as the worlds beyond them.” Paule Marshall
The United States of America is a land deluged with immigrants. Its origins and development is accountable to the various floods of immigrants that have emerged to shores from century to century. Their arrival can be accounted for as a result of various precarious circumstances such as famine and other disastrous situations.
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Her first novel Brown Girl, Brownstones Marshall chronicles the life of an American “Bajan” family. The novel is written in the form of a bildungsroman, therefore the narrator unravels the plot surrounding the preadolescent protagonist Selina, as the story develops so does the narrator’s subconscious. The narration is done in stream of consciousness third person limited. By doing this the readers’ gets insight into Selina’s thought process and there is an even higher level of relationship shared between the readers and the main character, Selina. Major themes that are typically included in Marshall’s novel include Displacement, alienation, discrimination, racism and cultural preservation. Published in 1959, Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones, according to the editors of Norton Anthology of African American Literature, is considered by most black feminist critics to be “the beginning of contemporary African American women’s writings…… because it portrayed black women’s centrality within the context of a specifically black culture” (2050). That said it is only fair to give credit to Marshall for her tremendous work in brilliantly portraying the long ignored yet very

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