Racial Ragregation And Racial Prejudice In Brownies By ZZ Packer

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Theme is the underlying message, or recurring idea in a piece of writing. This paper will focus on the themes that appear in Brownies by ZZ Packer. The two themes that are focused on this paper are racial segregation and peer pressure. Racial segregation focuses on the separation of people of different races and is also a form of institutional racism. The second theme that is shown in this story is peer pressure which is the influence a member of a group has one person of the same age. The most fitting theme to this story would be racial segregation. The story is told from an African American girl in the fourth grade named Laurel’s and it is seen in her point of view. Laurel attends Woodrow Wilson along with the rest of the African American …show more content…
Arnetta is the leader of Laurel’s brownie troop. She is hostile and seen as a bully. No one would dare stand up to her bossy personality. She’s the one who claims a girl from Troop 909 called Daphne a derogatory racial slur. When telling the rest of the troop about the name calling, Arnetta asks Daphne if she’d heard it too. The first time Daphne doesn’t give an answer so Arnetta nudges her. Daphne then shrugs once asked again, but after Arnetta gives her a hard look and she changes her answer and nods. “Daphne shrugs her shoulders at first, then slowly nods her head once Arnetta gives her a hard look” (Packer 7). Arnetta also puts Laurel in a difficult situation. In the story Arnetta had just told the troop about the secret meeting they’d have to discuss what they were going to do to Troop 909. Arnetta then turns all attention to Laurel rudely asking “Snot, you’re not going to bitch and tell Mrs. Margolin, are you?” (Packer 10). Laurel tries to voice that maybe Arnetta didn’t hear the girls correctly. She doesn’t want to do anything to the girls when there’s no true evidence that the slur was said. Arnetta cuts her off before she is finished asking her if she was going to tell or not. Laurel fell into peer pressure and said yes as her whole troop stared at her. “The rest of our Brownie troop looked at me as though they’d already decided their course of action, me being the only impediment” (Packer 10). Laurel says yes but she …show more content…
This lead too many difficult times in Laurel’s group. All of the girls were influenced by one member in the group, in this case Arnetta. She was the person that planned the whole attack on Troop 909 even though many of the girls wanted nothing to do with it. A second theme that was portrayed in Brownies is racial segregation. This was seen from the beginning when Laurel stated that her town was full of African Americans with only one boy named Dennis being Caucasian in her whole school. From this we can infer that the rest of the troop were raised without knowing many things about white people. This is how both of these themes were incorporated into the

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