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analysis of barnlund and angelou

Analysis of Angelou and Barnlund The separation of two different worlds often results in the lack of ability to communicate between one another. In Maya Angelous excerpt Mary, Angelou depicts the story of a girl named Marguerite who is employed as a slave in Mrs. Cullinans home. Angelou deliberately creates this character to symbolize the racial barrier between two worlds, black and white. She suggests that there is a pre-distinguished barrier between these two cultures and nothing can be done to change the natural reaction that comes along with communicating to another culture.The lack of communication between two cultures explains the lack of understanding and knowledge one has of another culture. When Marguerite first arrives at the house, it [takes] [her] a week to learn the difference between a salad plate, a bread plate and a dessert plate (4). In white culture, this would not have even been a question, but merely common knowledge. However, because Marguerite comes from a different background, the life she lived before working at the house suggests she had a life of simplicity at home. By learning the differences between each type of plate, Marguerite gains entrance into the assumptive world of another culture (49). Dean Barnlund suggests people remain outsiders if they do not become open-minded toward another culture. If there were no communication at all between Marguerite and Mrs. Cullinan, Marguerite would not have been able to learn about white culture, and each type of plate. Miss Glory, who represents a more traditional side of a slave having worked for Mrs. Cullinan for 20 years, has a lot of previous knowledge and does not let Marguerite say a thing against her mistress (4). In this case, Miss Glory knows to keep quiet and not talk about anyone who is white, a more superior race than her own. Miss Glory believes it is okay to order Marguerite because she only has age superiority over her. However, they stil...

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