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A Negro Boy and His Mother

Essay by   •  June 18, 2013  •  Essay  •  509 Words (3 Pages)  •  4,907 Views

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1. Summery

The story is about a Negro boy and his mother, traveling in a train. The boy had just been visiting his grandmother, and he had a lot of questions for his mom! Because for the first time he began to notice the difference between white and colored people, such as to different lines, to get on the train, and that the two races had different areas in the train. The boy's grandma looks white, but she is treated like a black person, and he think that is really weird, so he keeps asking his mom why his grandma is treated like a black person. But the mother is not very happy to talk about it. She does not want to answer him, and she gets mad every time he asks her a new question. For example questions about his grandmothers last name, and where it comes from.

2. Why does the mother not want to her answer her son's questions?

Because she is embarrassed about their slave-background. And the mother's grandmother was probably raped by her slave owner, ore had volunteer sex with him. And back then, if a slave got a child with her slave owner, they would just make up a last name for the child. And the child would be a slave, just like its mother. That is why the boy's grandmother has a different last name, and that is why his mother doesn't want to answer when he asks who her dad was. So his grandmother looks white, because her father was white. But she is treated as a colored person, because she is the daughter of a slave. The slave owners also did not want to have anything to do with the children they had with their slaves. And because of the raping/sex, she also repeat "for what?" when her son asks her about the grandmothers father. What good would it make to know who her mother's "slave owner father" was? But the boy does not know this, so he just keeps asking her.

3. What seems to be the boy's solution at the end of the story - and what do you think of it?

Everything is kayos inside his head. He understands that he is colored, and he kind of accepts it. But he still doesn't understand why his grandmother is treated like a colored person, when she looked just like the white. He knows that his mother doesn't tell him everything, that she is holding back some facts. He also knows that it is the colored persons who are treated badly, and that some colored people are killed or beaten. And in the end he thinks "If anybody tried to kill me, then I would kill them first".

I think that he thinks this, because he doesn't know so much about it. It is a kind of protect mechanism. Maybe he feels a bit safe, when he thinks that. Like no one can hurt him and that the though does sort of come him down, and makes him feel a little better.



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