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Essay Database > Literature > English
Mark Sommers Feldman 11/27/99 Recitatif Toni Morrison’s essay, “Recitatif” is about two girls, Twyla and Roberta, who grow up in an orphanage because their mothers could not properly care for them. The underlying theme in “Recitatif” deals with racism. An interesting twist is the mystery of the girls’ race. Leaving clues, but never stating whether Twyla or Roberta was black or white, Morrison makes it clear that the girls come from different ethnic backgrounds. At …

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…a Hendrix “groupie.” However Jimi Hendrix’s band was an interracial band with a very diverse audience. Therefore, Roberta may have been white due to the diverse audience. As the story ends it doesn’t give the reader a sense of closure because there is still a question of which girl is white or which is black. Because of this uneasiness that the reader feels it is proof that race is important to the reader.