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Word Count: 1,101
Toni Morrisons essay Recitatif is about two girls Twyla and Roberta who grow up in an orphanage because their mothers could not properly care for them The underlying theme in Recitatif deals with racism An interesting twist is the mystery of the girls race Leaving clues but never stating whether Twyla or Roberta was black or white Morrison makes it clear that the girls come from different ethnic backgrounds At one point in the essay Twyla comments that we looked like salt and pepper Due to the fact that the story is told in the first person it seems natural for the reader to associate Twyla with himselfherself Recitatif proves to be a noteworthy experiment toying with the readers emotions and effectively noting stereotypical races and their characteristicsMorrison never states the race of the girls for a purpose to make the reader form hisher own opinion The story begins with Twylas mother dropping her off at the orphanage There she met Roberta who became her best friend bonding because they were not real orphans with beautiful dead parents in the sky Instead of being real orphans they were just abandoned kids whose mothers did not want them Although the girls had few friends their lives did not lack adventure For example they enjoyed spying on the big girls who liked to smoke and dance and sadly got a laugh out of yelling mean things at Maggie the woman who couldnt defend herself because she was mute One of the last times the girls saw each other in the orphanage was the day of the picnic Shortly after the picnic Robertas mother came to take her home marking the first small fracture in their friendshipThe next time they saw each other was years later in the restaurant that Twyla worked Roberta acts coldly towards Roberta partly because she was high off of drugs on her way to see a Jimi Hendrix concert Twyla was deeply offended
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