Preface like Maya’s wish for her skin

Preface and chapter 1:”The age-faded color made my skin look dirty like mud…”(2)SimileMaya describes how her skinny legs looked like mud, showing her insecurity with her race. By comparing her skin color to mud, she thinks of herself as filthy, dirty, and unwanted. Mud can also be washed away, like Maya’s wish for her skin color to just wash away, contributing to the theme of racism and lack of self-esteem.Chapter 2,3,4:”When I was described by our playmates as being shit color, he was lauded for his velvet-black skin.”(22)MetaphorMaya compares her appearance to her brother Bailey’s, as she thinks Bailey is handsome, and she is ugly. Her playmates induced her insecurity with herself, alienating her for her outside appearance. She trusts Bailey alone as he doesn’t judge her skin color and fights on her side.Chapter 5,6,7:”…she seemed to be pulling for the top of the oak tree across the road”(30)HyperboleMaya’s momma stood outside the store enduring taunting from powhitetrash kids. She stood tall even as the girls displayed insulting rudeness. Because the white kids could not affect momma, she won, leaving Maya with an influence to always be respectful and dignified.Chapter 8,9:”He had never left her warm side or shared the icy wind of solitude with me”(60)Juxtaposition, metaphorMaya and Bailey used to understand each other, and Bailey was Maya’s sense of belonging in a community that shunned her. When they visited Vivian Baxter, mother dear, Bailey becomes more detached from Maya, causing Maya to lose her sense of belonging, making her feel alone and unwanted. Chapter 10,11,12,13:”I had forfeited my place in heaven forever, and I was as gutless as the doll I had ripped to pieces ages ago”(86) SimileMaya believes she claims responsibility for taking Mr. Freeman’s life by lying in court. She thinks she has locked herself out of heaven for committing this crime, and compares herself to a doll given to her by her mother. Her mother’s love came with the doll, and by ripping it, she had torn the connection, like she is tearing the connection with her mother to protect her from sin now. By trying to protect others from sin, Maya shows her compassionate and selfless nature.Chapter 14,15:”She appealed to me because she was like people I had never met personally. Like women in English novels who walked the moors with their loyal dogs racing at a respectful distance. Like the women who sat in front of roaring fireplaces, drinking tea incessantly from silver trays full of scones and crumpets.”(95)SimileMaya admires Mrs. Flowers because she embodied everything Maya believed she should be. Maya wishes to be the perfect girl, polite and refined. She believes in the ideal women, and doesn’t think of Mrs. Flowers as a real person. She is described as like a “person I had never met personally.” Maya hopes to be the idea of a perfect girl, but she doesn’t relate to them at all, showing how detached and idealistic she is.Chapter 16,17:”It was extraordinary good fortune to be able to save up one’s money and go see one’s mother whenever one wanted to. I bounced out of the theater as if Id been given an unexpected present.”(119)SimileMaya sees an actress in a movie that looks extremely similar to her own mother. She rejoices at the fact she can “see” her mother whenever she wanted at a movie. She doesn’t feel much emotional attachment, as she doesn’t miss her mother, unlike Bailey, who becomes downtrodden and depressed. Maya didn’t develop a close relationship with her mother, losing her sense of family.Chapter 18,19:”My race groaned. I was our people falling. It was another lynching, yet another Black man hanging on a tree.”(135)MetaphorMaya realizes that the fight in the ring symbolized real life, where white people mistreated, disrespected, and even killed blacks. The white person beat up the black person, symbolizing their power over Negroes. Maya hates that black people are the underdogs in society, fueling her fury to resist racism later on.Chapter 20,21,22,23:”We survived. The depths had been icy and dark, but now a bright sun spoke to our souls”(184)JuxtapositionMaya starts feeling pride for her race. Before, she was ashamed of her skin color and felt alienated because of it. She realizes now the Negroes have withstood “icy and dark” treatment from whites. Even though Negroes have suffered many turmoils, they have hope for a better future guiding them. This inspires her to start resisting racism, as she loves her people, and she hated their suffering.Chapter 24,25,26:”How could one or two or even a mouth of angry tooth roots meet a wagonload of powhitetrash children, endure their idiotic snobbery and not feel less important?”(187)PersonificationMaya has a burning toothache, that dulls in the presence of powhitetrash children. Their taunting has affected her so much mentally that her physical troubles lessen. She feels insignificant next to them, leaving her alienated for her race.Chapter 27,28:”To me, a thirteen-year-old Black girl, stalled by the South and Southern Black lifestyle, the city was a state of beauty and a state of freedom.”(212)MetonymyMaya finally begins to feel belonging. She finds comfort in San Francisco, as the city itself is always changing, and she feels like she can relate. She discovers more self-confidence, as she believes she truly belongs and has a purpose, living life to its fullest risk.Chapter 29,30:”We indulged in a test of strength for weeks as Dad stood figuratively on the sidelines, neither cheering nor booing but enjoying himself greatly”(229)MetaphorDolores and Maya have an incredibly tense relationship created by Maya’s dad. Her dad enjoys watching Dolores and Maya fight for his attention, as he has a big ego and likes to feel important. The constant trial to get her dad’s attention makes Maya feel insecure and detached from her family, as she can not even acquire her own father’s affection. She becomes more alienated, which leads her to run away later.Chapter 31,32,33:”It was a little like Switzerland in World War II. Shells were bursting all around me, souls were tortured and I was powerless in the confines of imposed neutrality”(258)AllusionMaya feels forgotten and powerless. Her mother and Bailey are fighting, and she is unable to do anything. Her neutrality is like a curse, as she doesn’t want to leave the side she doesn’t choose. She is excluded from the struggle, sitting on the sidelines detachedly, showing how she isn’t really dependent on her family anymore, and does not really belong with them.Chapter 34,35,36:”From disappointment, I gradually ascended the emotional ladder to haughty indignation, and finally to that state of stubbornness where the mind is locked like the jaws of an enraged bulldog.”(265)SimileMaya is determined to become a streetcar conductor. The job isn’t the best paying and the Negro community does not support her decision wholeheartedly. However, she was denied the job for her race, and her determination to get the job was fierce and strong like a bulldog’s locked jaws. Her independent nature and strong will make her persistent. Her efforts pay off, and she eventually gets the job.

x

Hi!
I'm Ethel!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out