In “Recitatif,” most of the story is set in a particular region of New York State. What sort of connotations does the story provide for this “Place”? What are the cultural characteristics of this geographic setting? In keeping with the lecture slides (from both class sessions nine and ten), what kinds of demographics are indicated? Compose a thorough statement based on both the lecture slides and the actual implications provided by the text. Then, briefly describe how both Roberta and Twyla continue to integrate their lives to this “Place” (once they leave St. Bonnys).
2. Study Toni Morrisons statements on page 155-156 before responding. Twyla and Roberta meet and become friends in the late 1950s. Before they meet again, the Civil Rights Act and the Voter Rights Act are passed, ushering in a new social era in the United States. Compose a theory that explains why this cultural backdrop seems to push the two women apart as opposed to drawing them together. Base as much of your theory on the actual text, but bring in some of your own social observations as well (if possible).
3. Write an accurate description of the SPACE of the Sunday encounter between Connie and Arnold Friend in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”This account should take into consideration as many of the factors indicated in the instructional materials as possible. Using quotations taken directly from the text of the story, describe how Arnold uses the physical dimensions of the space to his advantage.
4. Examine the element of INTERVAL in “Recitatif.” Specifically, consider the durations of the privileged episodes that form the plot of the story and the time-gaps that occur in between. Choose ONE time gap and episode (preceding or following) that strikes you as having the strongest impact on the relationship between Twyla and Roberta. Explain why this gap and episode (or episode and gap) hold so much long lasting power over the two. In your response, make sure you offer a full explanation of how TIME (in its duration) plays such a strong role in the dynamic.