“Recitatif” by Toni Morrison: Analysis
To establish their lifetime relationship and demonstrate how their lives have been entwined from a young age, the author opens the novel with Twyla and Roberta as little children. This aids in laying the groundwork for the later-story events. The narrative uses cultural examples to highlight the differences between the two girls’ lifestyles. One is from a wealthy, suburban upbringing, while the other is from an inner-city, lower-income background. The two females thus have various perspectives and experiences at a tender age should not be a factor in dating.
The friendship between Twyla and Roberta is likewise quite intense. They start as rivals predisposed to despise one another due to racism. Although they grow strong during their young time at St. Bonny’s, their friendship is again marred by isolation, misunderstanding, and hatred when they finally meet as adults. Nowadays, social class divisions are the root of many of these problems. While Twyla initially works as a server at Howard Johnson’s and later marries a fireman, “Roberta looks to lead an adventurous and glamorous life” (Morrison 3). The women are never completely capable of dealing with the societal implications of their racial and economic inequalities, even though they are closer at various times in the novel than at others.
Definitely, Roberta is the Caucasian American character, and Twyla represents the Afro-American character. The above is based on the conclusion founded on the descriptions of the characters and their families. Twyla is described as having “dark brown skin” and “kinky hair,” while Roberta is described as having “pale skin” and “straight hair” (Morrison 5). Additionally, Twyla’s family is said to be from the “ghetto” (Morrison 5). My family, education, and the media were the three main factors that shaped my racial attitudes. My family taught me that everyone is born equal, irrespective of race. My education has taught me that friendships between persons of different races are possible and that race is just a social construct. The media made it clear to me that people of all colors can succeed and that race should not stand in the way of pursuing one’s ambitions.
In other words, race is a social distinction that groups people according to their outward appearance. Additionally, it explains how friends can be made between people of different ethnicities and how race should not be a factor in dating. It also shows that race is a social construct used to group people according to their outward appearance. It is clear that friendships between persons of different races are possible and that race should not be a factor in dating. Racial classification is no longer as crucial in United America as this was in the past decades. Although the racial disparity in America is still a concern, it is believed that things are gradually improving. “Individuals of all races ought to receive the same opportunities and treatment” (Morrison 8). Thus, there should not be any racial prejudices and beliefs that everybody is the same, regardless of ethnicity.
Toni Morrison pokes fun at the community’s inclination to categorize people into different racial groups by sharing stories one does not wish to hear. She has the guts to write on topics that reflect African Americans’ cultural as well as social diversity while incorporating her own opinions. She successfully connects with readers of all ages and from various racial and ethnic backgrounds, including both sexes.
Recitatif continually references Maggie since she is implied to be disabled and thus plays a prosthetic role in the protagonists’ development and sympathy. The reflection frequently refers to the Orchard and Maggie, which makes the thought significant as it guides the readers toward a more nuanced view of Maggie’s identity. Allusions are made repeatedly to help readers distinguish between concepts they do not grasp.. “Twyla and Roberta could provide each other unity, while Maggie could not do so” (Morrison 9). Maggie’s pain helped define how social contexts were and are still constituted. The agitators are gradually losing faith in the racists since it is obvious that they are not a near-ending story.
Since Twyla was portrayed as being deaf and hence unable to hear, her uncertainty in her recollections helps her understand how other people view the disabled. The church, Howard Johnson’s, the local luxury market, the Middletown diner, and Twyla and Roberta’s residence are just a few iconic locations in Recitatif. None, however, compared to the vineyard at St. Bonny in terms of significance or importance. When Twyla describes how the girls used to assemble and dance there, she introduces the orchard. She mentions how she frequently dreamed about the orchard (Morrison). “When St. Bonny’s first welcomed me, the apple trees remained “empty and crooked like beggar women, but full of blossoms when I left” (Morrison 10). They twisted like beggar women when I first got to St. Bonny’s but full of flowers when I departed.
The orchard gets more poignancy as the scene of Maggie’s attack by the young girls. Thus, the orchard is a metaphor for Eden (associated with the biblical account of the Garden of Eden). In this location, the “sins” of cruelty, conceit, and adolescent sexuality replace youthful purity (Morrison 12). Twyla is perplexed to comprehend why she dreams of the orchard so frequently, given that “Nothing happened there” and that she is too young to understand the significance of it while residing at St. Bonny (Morrison 15). But as Twyla ages, she is forced to confront the dark sense of the orchard, the fact that she participated in wanting to harm Maggie there, and as a result, the shadowy side of her personality.