Natasha Trethewey White Lies Poem

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Reading the title “ White Lies” I imagined that the poem would be about someone telling a little lie because, a white lie is a harmless or trivial to avoid hurting one’s feelings. The theme is struggle of identity because the girl goes around stating that she is white but in reality she is black. Trethewey uses a child as the speaker because with children you see purity and innocence, but this poem was written during the times that if you had darker skin you were automatically portrayed differently. And as a kid you want to be accepted and looked at the same as everyone else.
This poem was written in 2000 but the tone takes places in the 60’s when interracial marriage was still not legal. Trethewey parents were illegaly married during these times. Those were between races were still disliked liked because of the african american descent in them.
“ The lies I could tell when I was growing up” as
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It’s very ironic that the narrator keeps referring everything towards the color white, which normally represents purity and the girl is constantly lying about her ethnicity. “ Dresses came straight out the window of Madison Blanche” she described this store in a high manner as if only high class people shopped there even the translation of “ Madison Blanche” means white house. It’s no secret that during these times black people were viewed as less, compared to caucasian people. So it’s not really a shocker that the narrator has the girl going around lying because she can easily get away with it. “Then washed my mouth out with Ivory soap” this is a very old school tradition that parents did to children when they found out that they were cursing. The mother says she is doing this to “ purify and cleanse your lying tongue” but the way the girl took it was
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