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Brownies by ZZ Packer

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by

Jada Coon

on 2 April 2014

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Transcript of Brownies by ZZ Packer

Excerpt
Setting
Camp Crescendo: A camp that the Brownie troop had visited. The girls later realize that because of discrimination, they were only allowed into a camp with girls with special needs.
Community Bath/Washroom: The place where the girls would go to use the restroom, wash up, brush their teeth, etc. This was also the place where the Brownies had planned to ambush Troop 909.
Theme
Plot
Brownies by ZZ Packer
Introduction: The girls from the Brownie troop had some sort of obvious problems with Troop 909.
Inciting Incident: A girl in the Brownie troop was called a "Nigger" by a girl in Troop 909.
Rising Action: The girls have a secret meeting to ambush the girls of Troop 909 in the bathroom and beat them up.
Climax: The girls go to the bathroom to ambush them, and realize the girls from Troop 909 have special needs. The girls were threatened to get told on.
Falling Action: The leader of Troop 909 steps into the restroom and explains that one of the girls has Echolalic*
Resolution: Laurel went home with new realizations.

By Jada Coon
Short Story Analysis
"But the rest of the girls didn't stop; they only laughed louder. It was the word "Caucasian" that got them all going. One day at the school, about a month before the Brownie camping trip, Arnetta turned to a boy wearing impossibly high-ankled floodwater jeans and said, "What are you? Caucasian?" The word took off from there, and soon everything was Caucasian." (Packer 4)
Don't judge a book by its cover.
The theme of not judging a person too quickly is presented in the story towards the end of the story.
"Some of our girls are echolalic-" ...
"Echolalic," the troop leader continued. "That means they will say whatever they hear, like an 'echo.'" She ducked her head apologetically. "I mean, not all of them have there most progressive of parents, so if they heard a bad word, they might have repeated it. But I guarantee it would not have been intentional." (Packer 23)
The girls did not seem taken back when they realized that the children had special needs, but I think that had a feeling a remorse.

Character
Laurel (Snot)- Laurel is known as Snot to the other Brownies in the entire story until the end. She is one of the quieter girls in the troop and extremely smart. Snot reads encyclopedias in her spare time and knows that she is a very intelligent person. She comes off as a person who normally keeps to herself and is rather shy.


Author Background
ZZ Packer is an African American woman, born on January 12, 1973 and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She wrote a book that contained many short stories called "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere"
"When you lived in the south suburbs of Atlanta, it was easy to forget about whites." (Packer 4)
Perhaps, Packer could have experienced these scenarios and it inspired her to write about her accounts as a young African American child.
Tone
Suspenseful- The author tries to get the audience on their toes when the girls have a secret meeting about ambushing the girls of Troop 909. When the Brownies talk about going to the bathroom by themselves the audience gets excited and wonders if the ambush was really going to happy.
Remorseful- When it is explained that the girls from Troop 909 have special needs, the audience gets a feeling of guilt, and that maybe it wasn't right to plan an ambush. This being said, the Brownies do not have a feeling of remorse.
Diction
The author's choice of words works extremely well with the story and the setting of the south suburbs of Atlanta. In the text, a girl from the Brownies explain how a possible ambush could be executed, using a deep southern accent and improper grammar.
"They gone be sleeping," ... "then we gone sneak in they cabin, then we'll put daddy long legs in they sleeping bags. Then they'll wake up. Then we gone beat 'em up till they're flat as frying pans!"
The authenticity of the setting shows through the diction of the author.
Narrator Point of View
The point of view of the narrator is 1st person by Laurel (Snot). Throughout the story she tells of what the other girls are doing, plotting and she tells her thoughts.
""Snot, you're not going to be a bitch and tell Mrs. Margolin, are you?" I had been called "Snot" ever since first grade, when I'd sneezed in class and two long ropes of mucus had splattered a nearby girl."
Works Cited
"Brownies" by ZZ Packer
Full transcript