Brownies Zz Packer Analysis

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The Verbal Style of the Brownies The short story “Brownies” by ZZ Packer is about a group of Brownie Scouts and their experience at camp Crescendo. As the story unfolds, the group of African American girls tries to escape the watch of their evangelical troop leader so they can beat up troop 909 for calling Daphne a “nigger”. It is unclear whether troop 909 actually said that, however; the Brownies carry through with their plan and confront troop 909 in the bathroom. To the Brownies ' surprise, the all-white troop 909 was made up of girls with special needs. Throughout the story, the author uses literary devices that are humorous and juvenile. The author’s use of this writing element emphasizes the inappropriate, yet truthful, announcements …show more content…
Her use of the words huge, miraculous, enormous, and gigantic may be due to the fact that she is a child and much smaller in size than Mrs. Margolin. The author is making Laurel a believable child character because children over exaggerate their words and phrases when they talk and tell stories. Her bold statements describing Mrs. Margolin’s appearance are somewhat bad-mannered and unfiltered which is a trait that most children possess. As most people who have been around children will know, children will blurt out the truth and point stuff out no matter how inappropriate or rude it may …show more content…
Throughout the story the author has the Brownies saying words like Caucasian, nigger, and retarded. At the beginning of the story, Laurel states that at their school the word “Caucasian” was used as an insulting word to name call someone. Laurel describes the situation at school where Arnetta called a boy Caucasian, she also goes on to say, “. . . soon everything was Caucasian. If you ate too fast you ate like a Caucasian, if you ate too slow you ate like a Caucasian” (1082) The author’s choice to place the word “Caucasian” in the context of an African American elementary school transforms the word to have a different meaning. To the Brownies, the word “Caucasian” is a foreign term because they were not around a lot of white people and they had an overall negative impression of white people. After arriving to camp Crescendo, Arnetta claims to have heard one of the white girls of troop 909 call shy Daphne a nigger. Outspoken Octavia shouts, “Nobody . . . calls us niggers”, which gets the whole group fired up and ready to fight troop 909 (1083). Troop 909’s alleged use of the word “nigger” versus the Brownies use of the word “Caucasian” creates verbal irony (1083). The brownies want to beat up troop 909 for calling them niggers yet they use the word “Caucasian” in an equally negative context with an equal derogatory meaning. The story gets even more

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