Character Analysis Of Roberta In Recitatif By Toni Morrison

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The story “Recitatif” is written by Toni Morrison. The definition of recitatif means among other things or to recite something. In this story, the narrator, Twyla, recites her friendship with Roberta. Roberta and Twyla switch places between being the protagonist and antagonist. The complex characterization structure that “Recitatif” follows makes this story a captivating read. We first meet Roberta in an orphanage when she is eight years old. She is good friends with the narrator Twyla. They are also roommates. Twyla describes how they look as salt and pepper so one of them is African American and one of them is white. At first, it seems as though Roberta is the African American but later in the story, it seems like she is white. …show more content…

A character that is dynamic undergoes a change throughout the story altering their personality usually for the better. Roberta changes a few times in this story. The first time we see a change in Roberta would be in a small town diner called Howard Johnsons. This is the first time Roberta and Twyla see each other since the orphanage. Twyla is working as a waitress living a normal life. Meanwhile, Roberta is with two men, and they are heading to a Jimi Hendrix concert. She gets offended when Twyla doesn't know who Hendrix is. Roberta is absorbed by the rebellious youth culture that took place during the 1960’s. She is not very kind to Twyla so the first meeting doesn't go very well. The next time Roberta and Twyla meet is in a gourmet market. Roberta has matured dramatically since the last time her and twyla met. Roberta has married a rich man named Kenneth Norton. She lives in luxury and is a stepmother to his four children. When Roberta and Twyla meet, Roberta is upset that her kids are being bussed to a different school because the school district is forcing integration. Roberta tells Twyla that she kicked an employee that worked at the orphanage named Maggie. Twyla denies these claims and the two part still frustrated with each other. This is where we see the second change take place. Roberta has changed from a party girl to a mature woman but she still has insecurities. We know that she has insecurities because of the false accusations about Twyla kicking Maggie. In the weeks to follow Roberta and Twyla protest on opposite sides of the civil rights movement. It is here that we find out that Roberta might be the white character and Twyla may be the african american. This is significant because it shows the mysterious ways that the author is used to develop Robertas

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