Toni Morrison's Recitatif: Which Race Are The Girls?

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Erin Smith Dr. Toby Coley English 2340 6 October 2013 Recitatif: Which Race are the Girls? Toni Morrison’s short story “Recitatif” is about two eight year old girls, Twyla and Roberta, who meet while staying at an orphanage called St. Bonny’s even though both of their mothers are alive. As they got older, their race difference causes the friendship to go downhill. In this short story, the ethnic background of Twyla and Roberta is a confusing part of the story and it makes it hard to tell which girl is white and which is black because every time you read about one of the girls you think one is black but then you keep reading and now the girl seems white. As you start to read, the first sentence is “My mother danced all night and Roberta’s was sick” (Morrison 130). You do not start to think about race until you get to the part that says “it was something else to be stuck in a strange place with a…show more content…
Several people have labeled black girls having big behinds then whites which makes it seem like Twyla’s mom is black, nonetheless Twyla makes a remark about Roberta’s mom, “on her chest was the biggest cross I’d ever seen…crook of her arm was the biggest bible” (Morrison 133) and blacks seem to be more religious than whites which makes it seem like Roberta’s mom is black. In addition to the day of the picnic, Roberta’s mom “brought chicken legs…” (Morrison 134) and some people have said that blacks seem to like chicken more than whites which would make Roberta black but then Twyla notices that Roberta is not eating the chicken and states “The wrong food is always with the wrong people. Maybe that’s why I got into waitress work later – to match up the right people with the right food” (Morrison 134) which could mean that Twyla is black since she got upset over the wasted

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