Betsey Brown Essay

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Sarah Madsen Hardy has a doctorate in English literature and is a freelance writer and editor.

In the following essay, she discusses how the protagonist's relationships with three domestic servants shape her developing sense of identity in Betsey Brown.

Betsey Brown has a loose plot, based on a series of episodes in the protagonist's thirteenth year. Betsey faces various trials and tribulations - some large and some small - as she negotiates the dilemmas of being black, being female, and just simply being a teenager in 1959 St. Louis. Betsey Brown may seem to lack structure. However, one thing that gives shape to its plot is the series of domestic servants who come to work for the Brown family. Though each woman works for the Browns only briefly, each one is symbolically significant to Betsey's moral and emotional development. Tracing Betsey's interactions with and ideas about Bernice,Regina...

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This section contains 1,959 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Betsey Brown Study Guide
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Betsey Brown from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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