Summary Of Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming

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Finding your purpose in life can be the hardest thing to do for many people. Especially when your entire family is finding the meaning of their own life and creating the world they want for themselves. In the novel, Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of her life as a young black girl growing up with two problems she’s facing. She is living during a time of segregation against black people, and she doesn’t know what her identity is. She finds throughout the story that she has a love for words and writing. Jacqueline uses figurative language, symbolism, and inner thinking to give the theme of your identity can be found in what you are passionate about.
In the beginning, Jacqueline uses figurative language to show her anger towards the fact that she cannot write and read like her sister can. For example, Jackie’s unhappiness when she can’t write well like other people shows when she says, “ / I am not gifted. When I read, the words twist/twirl across the page / When they settle, it is too late. /The class has already moved on / ”
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She gets that satisfaction from writing in this notebook she has. She finally understands what words are and mean to her. Jacqueline uses symbolism to show that she has knows how words represent her and are a big part of her. After class when Jackie is able to tell an entire story from memory, she realizes, “/ And I know now / words are my Tingalayo. Words are my brilliance /” (248). This action is symbolism because the author outwardly makes words represent her “brilliance”. It’s her talent, it’s what she is a master at. The author says that words are her “Tingalayo” comparing words to her brothers’ talent of singing when he sang the song Tingalayo. This comparison gives Jackie a purpose and talent like her family has. She always loved words and had a passion for them, and now she’s decided that words should become a part of her

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