Labels, Empathy, And Inability In Toni Morrison's Recitatif

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Labels, Empathy, and Inability in Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif” Numerous authors make the decision to write about conflicts that exist within society; issues that audiences can make a connection with and apply the issues to their personal experiences. This method of writing has been effective for years because it is easy for people to engage with the pieces of literature. Through the course of history literature has continuously challenged the socially and psychologically constructed stereotypes in society. Some authors have searched for ways to make their pieces something special, something that is more difficult to read, and something that makes society realize their own destructive tendencies. Toni Morrison attempts to represent and even …show more content…
Morrison’s “Recitatif” is unique in infinite ways, however, the fact that the ethnicity of two main characters is never revealed must be what caught so many literary critics attention. Al though that part of the protagonist …show more content…
He then suggests the reason Morrison was so keen on never identifying a race with any character is to point out, “the racial signs and symbols permeating much of early American writing morphed, later, into tropes of blackness where dark skin (or simply a dark presence) represents the racial anxieties of white America” (88). Morrison tried to remove all racial codes that could possibly link either of the main characters to a specific race; however, the amount of relativistic codes in the story can assist when attempting to discover the characters’ racial identities (Kolehmainen 31).
The interstitial narrative that lies between Twyla and Roberta and what goes beyond thr racial issues is the background of Maggie, the mute kitchen women (Benjamin 88). Sklar enlightens the fact that Morrison once claimed the story was an “experiment” to remove all racial codes from a short story about two characters of different races in a time that racial identity was crucial. However, he argues that by removing those

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