Recitatif Characters

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James Benson

James Benson is Twyla's husband. He is a native of Newburgh, the town where the later part of the story takes place. He is "comfortable as a house slipper" and is associated with the kind of family and continuity that Twyla's history lacks.

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson is Twyla and James's son. Twyla becomes an activist in the busing controversy when Joseph is bused out of district in order to ensure racial integration in the schools.

Twyla Benson

Twyla is the main character and the story's narrator. She was raised, in part, at an orphanage—not because her parents were dead, but because her mother chose or needed to "dance all night" and was thus unable to care for her. The fact that Twyla lacks mothering is central to her character. She marries into a stable, rooted family and becomes a mother herself. It is in...

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This section contains 778 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Recitatif Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Recitatif from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.