An Analysis Of Crab Boil, By Rita Dove

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In “Crab-boil” by Rita Dove, a little girl is clueless about how African Americans are living, which is why she questions everything throughout the poem. The other narrator is the little girl’s aunt named Helen. She is more secure about who she is and knowledgeable about the racism occurring in their society, which is why she is ideal in answering the little girl’s question. The little girl does not like how reality is set up, which is separation between within races and unfair treatment towards the African Americans. But at the end, just like her aunt Helen, she accepts who she is. In “Crab-boil”, the human relationship is seen as disquietude and troubled between the narrator and society because of the racial segregation and the different …show more content…
Aunt Helen, who is also a narrator is the one who answers the questions the little girl is asking. She has more knowledge on racism and is more aware of reality unlike her niece. The reason why the narrator has more knowledge is because she was born in a different generation than her niece. She has experienced racism as she was growing older. It can be said that aunt Helen and the little girl had the same view on reality when aunt Helen was younger. But as she grew up, her perspective changed and began to believe what society says. As a result, throughout the poem, aunt Helen seems to accept who she is in society. In lines 8-10 it states “Why does Aunt Helen laugh before saying Look at that- a bunch of niggers”. In this instance, aunt Helen refers to themselves or the African Americans as a “nigger”. “Nigger” is a word that society has created that labels the African Americans. It initiates that society has made the aunt believe that she and the African Americans are in fact a “nigger” and now accepts it as being who she is. Everything that society says about the African Americans is regarded as true by Aunt Helen, which shows that the relationship between the narrator and society is uneasy because she now believes something she did not believe before because of the flawed

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