Betsey Brown Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 81 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Betsey Brown.
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Identity and Self-Expression

The novel portrays Betsey's growth and development as she strives to understand who she is. Betsey is thirteen years old - an age sometimes considered as marking a passage from childhood to adulthood, or at least a passage into the independence of the teenage years. During this period of transition, Betsey seeks to learn to express her identity in a mature way. The first scene finds Betsey practicing for an elocution contest at her school. She has chosen to recite a Paul Laurence Dunbar poem written in African-American dialect in the voice of a sophisticated and confident woman. In practicing the poem, she strives to imitate the attitude of the adult woman she wishes she could be. She does this by looking to the people who are closest to her as role models, including her mother, women in the neighborhood, and older girls at school.

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This section contains 1,130 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Betsey Brown Study Guide
Copyrights
Gale
Betsey Brown from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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