100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 40 - 42 out of 68 pages.
• "blows and scores" agothat is, after a protracted history of assaults and retaliations.• djinna spirit, or jinni of Muslim lore which, like the supernatural servant in Aladdin's lamp, can be summoned to assist humans.Chapters 26–29The trauma of returning to her parents plunges Maya anew into the unsettled business of rape trauma and guilt. The imageryof Annie's reunion with Vivian supplies a clear delineation of proper motherhood. On the one hand, Annie is the "large, solid dark hen." Vivian, the lesser of the two mother figures, is the light-toned chick, communicating in "rapid peeps and chirps." In Oakland and out of her milieu, Annie, a stolid, unflinching figure, adjusts well to the multicultural lifestyle while remaining in Los Angeles for six months. Her going, a shattering, but irrevocable announcement to her dependent grandchildren, illuminates Momma's role as primary parent, a role which ends with her return to Stamps.Realigning family structure in their San Francisco home around Bailey, Vivian, and Daddy Clidell, thirteen-year-old Maya, like other citizens on the west coast in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, turns her attention to the threat of a Japanese invasion and to the disappearance of Japanese-Americans, who were incarcerated in internment camps, such as Manzanar in north central California, east of Lone Pine. Angelou's commentary on the complex supplanting of Orientals with Southern blacks illuminates the cultural housing patterns as well as the boost to the black image as the wartime economy increased their worth and self-esteem. She makes no apology for blatant opportunism, which allowed blacks to move into the vacated businesses of Japanese-Americans without qualms.Like the rest of the new arrivals, Maya develops a sense of belonging to the ten-square-block area around Post Street and evolves the San Francisco personality—friendly, cool, and distinguished. However impressed she is with her new-found freedom and the offeringsPage 1 of 1Document9/24/2006=...
Page 44of a cosmopolitan city, she maintains a sense of racial separation, particularly from white insiders who think of the Southern influx, both white and black, as ''raucous unsophisticated provincials." The racial incident that concludes Chapter 27 is one of the rare instances in Angelou's prose which fails to ring true, as though she tacked it on just for effect. An example of bathos, or anticlimactic sentimentality, it lessens her skillful recreation of wartime San Francisco. For good reason, she seems to distance herself from the story's origins.In contrast to this lapse is the extended anecdote which concludes Chapter 29, the San Francisco segment of Maya's education. The exemplum,or detailed story of how Red Leg and Just Black bilk a bigoted cracker, a standard version of the trickster motif common to Afro-American and Native American lore, serves a structural purpose. At the end of the narrative, Angelou attempts to rationalize why "It's all right if we do a little robbing now" to even out the balance of years of injustice. Shifting to