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To Da-duh, in Memoriam

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Introduction

To Da-duh, in Memoriam by Paule Marshall Comment closely on the passage, focusing in particular on ways it presents the clash of two different worlds. Firstly, the story is written in the first person narrative. The narrator writes about a memory and therefore it is autobiographical in nature. This is confirmed by the "in Memoriam" in the title of the story which shows that the story was written in memory of her grandmother, Da-duh. The story is told from the eyes of the writer's nine year old self and we see the story solely through the child. While the tone is personal because the narrator is personally involved in the story, there is also emotional distance. It gives the impression that the emotional events are viewed through the eyes of an outsider or a third person due to the way the story is told: through facts and the narrator's recollection of the event. The passage begins with the narrator informing us about how Da-duh was the one who always brought up New York with "some slighting remark on her part." It seems as though Da-duh voluntarily gave her granddaughter a chance to fight her case by making comments such as "they don't have anything this nice" or "foolish people in New York" that was bound to get a reaction or a comeback from the narrator. ...read more.

Middle

Once again, this shows that Da-duh believes that her race has the upper hand over the white people. However, the narrator tells her that "the white people have even better." This is in reference to the fact that Barbados once belonged to the white minority and that it was colonized by the British Empire. The sugar canes that Da-duh was so proud of were the reason for the African slavery and that in reality, back then, the white people were more superior. Da-duh's lack of knowledge of her own heritage shows that what she is immensely proud of is only because of what she believes it to be. It depicts how Da-duh doesn't have any knowledge beyond her world and how wrapped up there she is to be this ignorant while the narrator knows and believes otherwise due to the modern world. As we read on, the difference in their way of speaking becomes apparent. The granddaughter uses the phrase 'What d'ya mean,' while her grandmother says 'how you mean' in expressing the same thought. Being from New York, the shortening of words may reflect on the lifestyle that she leads. ...read more.

Conclusion

She was "trembling with rage" as she accused her granddaugther of lying. We get the impression that her granddaughter ripped her of her world and left her desperate. Showing her the royal palm was her last grand beauty of Barbados and it had failed her. At the end of the passage, we learn that in the end, Da-duh does give in and surrender. When the narrator offers proof in the form of a postcard, Da-duh realizes that she has lost and "all the fight went out of her at that." This expresses her wisdom and age because she doesn't fight the truth and gives her granddaughter the satisfaction. In contrast, her granddaughter couldn't do that and let her pride consume her. This shows the bashfulness of the youth and callowness. We see the clash of the two generations here. The story portrays the two different worlds of culture and modernity, of agricultural and technology, or age and youth in numerous ways. In my opinion, it is mainly through the characters of Da-duh and her granddaughter. They both have similar characters that refuse to let up and this is where the conflict occurs. They're both on a mission to be representatives of their world and to convince the other that where they come from is a better and a superior world. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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