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Johnieruth written by Becky Britha

Short Story Presentation

Kaitlin Preusser

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Johnieruth written by Becky Britha

Johnnieruth Becky Birtha Plot Diagram Johnnieruth Mama Ladies at the plaza Miz Jenkins Feminist Criticism Historical Criticism Author Bio Exposition... "Summertime. Nighttime. Talk about steam heat" Low income neighborhood
Furniture on the sidewalk
Children playing outside "They got big bosoms and big hips and fat legs, and they always wearing runover house shoes and them shapless, flowered numbers with the buttons down the front." Johnnieruth doesn't want to become one of those ladies
Considers herself one of the boys
Doesn't want to grow up
Rides her bike around the neighborhood Rising Action... "She don't look like nobody I ever seen before... She real skinny... She got on blue jeans and a man's blue working shirt, with the tail hanging out." First taste of freedom/ independence
Doesn't need to look like everyone else
"Now I got me a newspaper route. Ain't never been no girl around here with no paper route, but I guess everybody got it figured out by now that I ain't gonna be like nobody else." Realizes something about her is different
Buys a Peugeot to explore and find where she wants to go when she is grown up
Hangs out with the boys less, doesn't like the way they've changed Climax... "...but all the sudden I see it ain't no dude at all. It's another lady." Johnnieruth is initially shocked by the sight
Can't turn away and possibly finds joy in the scene
Realizes that the times are changing
Falling Action... "And the one lady wink at me. And the other one say catch you later. Them two women kissing and then, when they get caught, just laughing about it." The incident between the two women contradicts what Johnnieruth was raised to believe in
Realizes again that the times are changing and it okay to be your own person Resolution... "And here I am laughing, too, for no reason at all. I'm sailing down the boulevard laughing like a lunatic, and then I'm singing at the top of my lungs." Johnnieruth discovers herself as an adolescent
Finds happiness in her discovery
Feels more independent and free
Weight has been lifted from her shoulders Adolescent tomboy
Seaching for her identity
Wants to be accepted by her mother
Feels trapped by her mother's expectations
Realizes something about her is different
Doesn't want to conform to societies standards
Visits the Plaza for an escape from her limitations
Visits the Plaza for an adventure, even the flowers "smell sweeter" there
Judgemental of her daughter's choices
Wishes she would be more lady-like
Wants her daughter to have more girl friends
Knows she can't change her daughter
Not accepting of the changing times (lady on the street)
"I heard Miz Jenkins down the street one time say she don't mind being fat 'cuz that way her husband don't get so jelous. She say it's more than one way to keep a man." An example of what Johnnieruth doesn't want to become
Johnnieruth doesn't have any intentions of keeping a man
All they're good for is to make sure women keep on having babies One is dressed as a women, the other is dressed as a man
Johnnieruth admires their exotic styles and class
Secretive behavior, check to make sure no one is around
Show Johnnieruth that is they can breakaway from the what is accepted by society, she can too Lady on the street Dressed in men's clothing on a Sunday
Isn't afraid to express herself
First person to expose Johnnieruth to independence and change Most women are large ladies who wear shapeless dresses
Sundays women were expected to dress up
Portrays traditional gender roles: women cook and clean at home
The lady on the street went against the stereotypes of women
The two women kissing shows independence, which wasn't typical for women during this time
Gays and Lesbians were emerging in society in the 1990s They hid their identity because it was frowned upon by traditional cultural views
Many groups were beginning to support Gays and Lesbians in public Named after her grandmother, Rebecca Burford, a slave until she was 12 years old Grandma's Pride and Lucky Beans were written based on her family Four grandparents, mom, dad, and one sister Grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mother was a librarian and father encouraged her to write After graduating high school, attended college while taking time to travel Worked as a camp counselor, day care worker, and taught writing classes at colleges For a short time worked in libraries and book stores Helped create and write for a website for adopted kids while working at an Adoption Organization Currently living in Delaware Country, Pennsylvania with her partner Nancy and daughter Tasha ? ? ?
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