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    A Character Analysis of Maggie in Recitatif by Toni Morrison

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    In the story “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison I believe that Maggie is the most important character. She brought the two main characters, Twyla and Roberta, together. Maggie also represents the two main characters mother’s. Maggie is also the last person we are left thinking about at the end of the story. She has a connection with all the characters in the story and that is why she is important.

    Maggie is used to represent Roberta and Twyla’s mothers. “I didn’t kick her; I didn’t join in with the gar girls and kick that lady, but I sure did want to. We watched and never tried to help her and never called for help. Maggie was my dancing mother. Deaf, I thought, and dumb… Rocking, dancing, swaying as she walked (page 145).” Maggie represented Twyla’s mother because she danced as her mother did. Maggie was sick because she wobbled her legs like “parenthesis” as she walked. Twyla described this walking as dancing. Roberta’s mother was sick and so was Maggie. Maggie represented both mothers in one character.

    Maggie created the friendship between Twyla and Roberta. They bonded through Maggie by bullying her together. “Let’s call her,’ I said. And we did. ‘Dummy! Dummy!’ She never turned her head. ‘Bow legs! Bow legs!’ Nothing. (pg.133)” This was the first conversation in the story that they has about Maggie. Every time Roberta and Twyla ran into each other they had a conversation about Maggie. They argued because Roberta said that Twyla beat Maggie up along with the older girls. Twyla did not remember that ever happening because Roberta was lying to make her look bad in front of the protestors. Roberta later apologized when they saw each other on New Year’s at a coffee shop. This brought up the question of what ever happened to Maggie.

    The story end with Roberta saying “Oh shit, Twyla. Shit, shit, shit. What the hell happened to Maggie?” (page 147)’ The reader is left with that question in their head, but it can mean different things to different people. Does it mean what happened to Maggie after Twyla and Roberta left? Does it mean what happened to her in St.Bonny’s because Roberta and Twyla’s memories are not the same? As a reader we wonder what they are talking about when we are done with the story. Maggie is the reason we are thinking about these things; she is the reason we have these questions in our mind. We also want to know what happened to her.

    Maggie is the most important character in the story “Recitatif”. She has the greatest impact on us as readers. She is the reason Twyla and Roberta became such good friends and had things to talk about when they ran into each other later in their lives. Maggie also reminds Twyla and Roberta of their mothers. Maggie also reminds Twyla and Roberta of themselves. Maggie is an outsider just like the girls were in St. Bonny’s. Maggie was beaten up because she was different. Twyla and Roberta were the only children in the orphanage to actually have parents that were still alive, so they were seen as outsiders. Maggie is every character in the story in one person.

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    A Character Analysis of Maggie in Recitatif by Toni Morrison. (2022, Dec 20). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/a-character-analysis-of-maggie-in-recitatif-by-toni-morrison/

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