The Unspoken Racialized Codes in Tony Morrison's Recitatif

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In the book "Recitatif", Tony Morrison keeps on referring to Maggie in order to emphasize his point on the presence of mistreatment and social evils that exist in the society. In this regard, Tony reveals that Maggie is someone that represents people in the society that are cut and separated from the rest of the world. Through Maggie's tribulations, Tony exposes the unspoken racialized codes. Although the story does not reveal the races of the characters, by referring to the harsh treatment that Maggie faces on the hands of the two main characters; Twyla and Roberta, Tony tries to go beyond the metadiscursive investigations of race and class markers. Thus, Maggie's mistreatment that is portrayed through the memories of the two leading characters represents the classic example of the actual nature and composition of the society. The continual reference of Maggie is significant in such a way that it reveals the unspoken character of the society that even the participants themselves feel guilty to admit (Morrison and Doris 14).

Also, the short story "Recitatif" keeps on referring to the orchard in order to show the transition that the society goes through from being innocent and caring to be cruel and egocentric. In this regard, the author refers to the orchard to show how the place that used to be a haven was later being used to commit social evils on Maggie and reveal their dark side/personality. For instance, the author tries to portray the social ills that were being committed to Maggie when he states that "Roberta gravely responds that Maggie didn't fall-the gar girls pushed her in the orchard on purpose and ripped her clothes" (Morrison and Doris 10). The continual reference of the orchard is significant since, through its constant mentions, the changes that the society goes through are clearly portrayed.

Works Cited

Morrison, Toni, and Doris Lessing. Recitatif. Difusión, Centro de Investigación y Publicaciones de Idiomas, 2010.

November 24, 2023


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Literature Review

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