Recitatif Essay

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In the following excerpt, Abel discusses how the question of race in "Recitatif" prompts readers to examine the story's social clues more closely.

Twyla opens the narrative of Toni Morrison's provocative story "Recitatif" (1982) by recalling her placement as an eight-year-old child in St. Bonaventure, a shelter for neglected children, and her reaction to Roberta Fisk, the roommate she is assigned: "The minute I walked in . . . I got sick to my stomach. It was one thing to be taken out of your own bed early in the morning—it was something else to be stuck in a strange place with a girl from a whole other race. And Mary, that's my mother, she was right. Every now and then she would stop dancing long enough to tell me something important and one of the things she said was that they never washed their hair and they smelled funny...

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This section contains 2,026 words
(approx. 6 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.
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