And just yesterday my kids tellin me to take them countrified rags off my head and be cool. This is one such instance. When Miss Hazel goes into greater depth about her relationship with Elo, the mood of the story takes a decidedly dark and poignant turn. However, this observation combines a degree of wry humor with serious commentary on the disconnect between the politically aggressive younger generation and the older one, which is unaccustomed to an activist culture. The irony not only mitigates the seriousness of the observation, but also helps to explain why some ideas seem absurd to people who do not take their validity for granted. Her frustration demonstrates her fierce sense of integrity, the indignation she feels when a situation does not live up to the way it is described.

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She does not give the reason for the name change. She also mentions that her grandfather calls her Scout because she likes to sit in the front seat and navigate whenever he drives. Hunca Bubba shows pictures of his girlfriend to Hazel and Baby Jason. Though Hazel is not interested in hearing about the girlfriend, one picture of the girl in front of a movie theatre sparks a memory. When the movie began, the children were upset to realize that it was a religious film, about Jesus.

They booed and popped potato-chip bags, much to the dismay of the theatre attendant whom they call Thunderbuns. Thunderbuns constantly shone a flashlight at them, but they only quietened momentarily.

After the film, Hazel demanded a refund from the manager because the film was not about gorillas, as its title suggested. When the manager refused to refund her money, Hazet set a fire under the candy machine in the lobby, which caused the theatre to shut down for a week.

Her parents respect her fierce integrity, and do not punish her for her defiance. The narrative returns to the present. Hazel asks Hunca Bubba if he plans to marry his girlfriend, and he replies in the affirmative.

Hazel then reminds him of a time when he babysat her and her brothers for two days when she was young. She claims he told her that he would marry her when she got older, and that he would wait. She is accusing him of being a liar. There is an awkward silence in the car.

Most of the stories in this collection feature a relatively traditional plot arc that follows the narrator through a series of events. It also gives the story its title.

So, while the car scene is technically a frame for the movie-theatre scene, they are of equal thematic and narrative importance. The story is similar to [Mockingbird] in the way that Hazel is very observant but does not fully understand everything she sees because of her youth.

We learn these nicknames even before we learn her given name. This stylistic choice allows the reader to first understand Hazel through the way others perceive her. All of these names have a childish air to them, revealing that Hazel is far more inexperienced than her strong voice and confidence suggest.

The choice also indicates that the moment she insists Grandaddy Vale call her Hazel is meant to be a strong assertion of her identity. Her youth is belied by her strong voice, and yet the final moment - in which she cries alongside the baby - reminds us without question that she is inexperienced. Hunca Bubba also signifies his resolution to turn over a new leaf by asking people to call him by his full name, Jefferson Winston Vale.

This story also introduces the themes of integrity and authenticity. She is angered when a literal statement is not honored. With Hunca Bubba, she feels a pivotal moment of her childhood is being dishonored. Not everyone means exactly what they say. There is some ambiguity in the collection about whether some characters appear across several stories, because Bambara uses similar names and so many nicknames. For example, there are multiple characters named Hazel in the collection.

Bambara is generally vague about the time period in which many of the stories take place. There is also the possibility that these Hazels are not literally the same character, but are kindred spirits. Bambara emphasizes the strong bonds that can form between people based on nothing more than empathy and the shared human condition. What is more, supporting characters rarely appear in multiple stories, suggesting different families.


Toni Cade Bambara

At first, she planned to become a doctor, but her passion for arts directed her to become an English major. She also took part in theater, where she was designated as stage manager and costume designer. Bambara was among those who participated in folk singing when it first emerged in the s, when the songs had a political message inscribed in them. She also worked for New York social services and as a recreation director in the psychiatric ward of Metropolitan Hospital.



Bambara tells the story as if a child was talking in first-person view. Throughout the story Hazel talks about different instances of her share of what she thought was being lied to. The read was very enjoyable because it was something that I could relate to. The setting of the story begins with Hazel navigating a map while her grandfather, which she refers to as Granddaddy Vale, is driving. Norton around; at the beginning of the drive, the narrator intently listens to Mr.


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