Recitatif Analysis

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Recitatif is a unique story about two girls who face racial issues through their lives. Toni Morrison wrote this story during the Civil Rights Movement and published it later in 1983 during the post Civil Rights Era. The two grow up in similar circumstances, but face relationship issues with both of them being a different race. Twyla and Roberta grew up in an orphanage, but their parents were still alive. Twyla’s mother was a dancer and Roberta’s mother was sick. This gives the girls an early connection even though they are different races. They become best friends and do everything together. The girls look out for each other against the older girls and big bozo. Twyla and Roberta are fascinated by a skinny girl named Maggie who can not hear. The girl’s mothers slack in the motherly role, but the girls do not mind much. The girls end up leaving the orphanage and are separated as they go live different lives. Twyla is young and trying to make it on her own. She works at a hotel and still is pleased with her life even though she is poor. Roberta who had run away from the orphanage, was much more successful. She stopped at the same hotel and was headed to California for an appointment with Jimi Hendrix. The two talk briefly and show resentment towards each other’s way of life. The girls meet up years later in a grocery store. This meet up is entirely different and Morrison expresses this heavily. They are both married and still in the same predicament. Twyla and Roberta soon
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