Recitatif Racism

Satisfactory Essays
Recitatif is a story that has to do with times in America where racism was a big social issue. Although it differentiates the characters by culture, Morrison also differentiates them by religion. Reading through the story it never is clear who is who in the ethnic backgrounds of both Twyla and Roberta. Recitatif is a story that is clear that racism affects not only the main characters in the story but also everyone else that surrounded the main characters.
At the beginning of the story did I realize that the story was about race. Toni Morrison, the author of Recitatif, described how dreadful it was to be with someone you are not used to, " was something else to be stuck in a strange place with a girl from a whole other race" (239). Roberta and Twyla were very different, not only in color but the class in which their families belonged in. Twyla's mother was in a sense cheap and overexposed her body and
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People assuming that racism exists only from the white towards the black communities but in fact, it is the other way around as well. Morrison never made it clear who belonged to what race, "So for the moment it didn't matter that we looked like salt and pepper standing there..." (239). When I first began reading the story I believed Twyla was the white girl and Roberta was black. Later on in the story, I got a bit confused on their race again when Roberta makes a comment about it to Twyla, "Oh, Twyla, you know how it was in those days: black--white" (247). This made me think that Roberta was white and Twyla was black because Roberta was discriminating against Twyla.
Morrison’s choice showed that not only could Roberta be racist but Twyla as well. The segregation social issues during the time are a big impact on how Roberta and Twyla’s characters behave in the story. From different cultural and ethnic backgrounds both try to survive as best as possible during those
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