From The Poet In The Kitchen Analysis

880 Words4 Pages
In her autobiographical essay, From the Poets in the Kitchen, novelist Paule Marshall describes the aesthetic roots of her fiction. “The group of women around the table long ago; they taught me my first lessons in the narrative art,” she recalls. “They trained my ear. They set a standard of excellence. This is why the best of my work must be attributed to them; it stands as a testimony to the rich legacy of language and culture they so freely passed on to me in the word shop of the kitchen” (Contemporary Black Biography, 1995). Valenza Pauline Burke, later known as Paule Marshall, is an American novelist, whose novels emphasize the necessity for black Americans to regain their African heritage. She was born on April 9, 1929 in Brooklyn New…show more content…
This article focusevs on Marshall’s novel, Brown Girl, Brownstones, which is mainly about Caribbean immigrants seeking the American dream, as well as economic and social assimilation in New York City. Marshall shows that while the normal story of progress in American Literature is told, Brown Girl, Brownstones does not tell a story of successful assimilation or adaptlation to migration. Why? Because the Bajans faced constant constraints and restrictions due to racism and economic oppression in the United States. The resettled West Indian immigrants and their pursuit of the American dream become significant frameworks for the maturation process of the protagonist, Selina. Brown Girl, Brownstones thus initiates Marshall 's on-going exploration of the relationship between work and capitalist profit through the oppressions of race, class, and gender. Selina’s father, Deighton, envisions the dream and its outcome differently from his wife, Silla, and this resulted in the conflict that ultimately derails their marriage and intensifies the already complex coming-of-age process for their daughter Selina. Deighton 's dream is to acquire sufficient capital and return to Barbados to build a house on his inherited land; however, Silla 's goal is to own the Brooklyn brownstone where they live in New York and to educate their daughters for a lucrative profession in the United States. Their different goals illustrate the differing degree to which they both are willing to assimilate to the dominant culture. However, Francis shows that Silla’s American dream was not successfully achieved as she loses important individuals in her
Open Document