ZZ Packer - Brownies - questions

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Information about ZZ Packer - Brownies - questions

Published on February 28, 2014

Author: wereldbol

Source: slideshare.net

ZZ PACKER grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and Louisville, Kentucky. "ZZ" was a childhood nickname; her given name is Zuwena (Swahili for "good", Arabic dialect for "beautiful"). Recognized as a talented writer at an early age, her first significant publication was in Seventeen magazine at the age of 19. She is a 1990 graduate of Seneca High School, in Louisville, Kentucky. Packer attended Yale University, where she received a B.A in 1994. Her graduate work included an M.A. at Johns Hopkins University in 1995 and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop of the University of Iowa in 1999. She was named a Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University. Shortly thereafter, she entered the national literary scene with a highprofile appearance in the Debut Fiction issue of The New Yorker (2000). Her short story in the issue became the title story in her collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (Riverhead Books, 2003), which was published to considerable acclaim. (wiki)

"Brownies" looks at what happens to those who've been cast aside. In some souls, kindness and compassion bloom. In others, malignant forces take hold. Snot realizes that, "When you've been made to feel bad for so long, you jump at the chance to do it to others." http://shortygetdown.blogspot.be/2013/03/drinking-coffee-elsewhere-brownies-by.html

The main issue in “Brownies” is apparent from the beginning:race. The entire conflict of the story comes from the fact that the two troops are completely segregated between the color of their skin. Even near the end of the story a lot of the african american girls still dislike whites and see them as an unusal and rare thing because of the area they live in. Even the main character’s father treats a group of Caucasians badly because they were mennonites and he had them paint his porch. His reasoning for asking them to do this is “it’s the only time he’d ever have white folk on their knees working for him.” After telling this story the main character realizes that actions like this is just leading to the circle of hate to continue and that the only way to stop it was to be a better person herself.

Beatrice Froute de DomecApril 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM Z Z Packer's short story, "Brownies," possesses numerous qualities that we associate with the fiction of such more established and highly respected writers as Flannery O'Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, Kate Chopin, and Zora Neale Hurston, the last of these an African-American writer like Parker. The story's multiple levels — social, moral, historical, psychological — fuse to portray the confusion of a young black girl, the story's conflicted narrator, Laurel, or "Snot." Laurel is more sensitive and somewhat more mature than her friends in her "Brownies" troop. She resists her friends' mindless, mean-spirited plans to beat up a group of white "Brownies" that are sharing a camp site. Reluctantly, Laurel chooses to participate in the beating out of her loyalty to her friends, up until some adults intervene. Still too young to understand, Laurel nevertheless intuits the meanness and ignorance present in the reverse racism of her companions, as well as the cruelty of the mental afflictions of the white campers: hence the story's announced theme, "I ... suddenly knew there was something mean in the world that I could not stop." The story's title, "Brownies," ingeniously suggest the foolishness of black/white stereotypes.

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