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"Brownies" by ZZ Packer
Transcript of "Brownies" by ZZ Packer
-named Zuwena ("good" in Swahili)
-grew up in Atlanta and Louisville
-majored in humanities/sciences, became a writer later on
-stories contain "autobiographical elements, details and settings" Plot Summary Biography What larger theme does this reveal? -power
-appearance vs reality
-perception What is ZZ Packer trying to say about African- American identity? Voiceless Daphne "When you've been made to feel bad for so long, you jump at the chance to do it to others. I remembered the Mennonites bending the way Daphne had bent when she was cleaning the restroom." Apply Daphne to these statistics -African-American brownie troop vs troop 909
-teach troop 909 a "lesson" for calling them a racial name
-troop 909 is developmentally disabled Typical black hair Typical white hair "[Ten white girls had] long, shampoo-commercial hair, as straight as spaghetti from the box. This alone was reason for envy and hatred. The only black girl most of us had ever seen with hair that long was Octavia, whose hair hung past her butt like a Hawaiian hula dancer's. The sight of Octavia's mane prompted other girls to listen to her reverentially, as though whatever she had to say would somehow activate their own follicles." The Power of Hair "We'd seen them, but from afar, never within their orbit enough to see whether their faces were the way all white girls appeared on TV - ponytailed and full of energy, bubbling over with love and money." Why does Octavia have power? How is this ironic? Appearance vs reality Perception "Maybe they would. Just to be nice." Why is it significant that Daphne is compared to a Mennonite? Why does Packer have the story end in Daphne's voice? Why would Daphne say this out of all things? Why is Daphne voiceless throughout the story? Name Ranking -Hair