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What's Your Name, Girl

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Maya Angelous "What's Your Name, Girl"

Having a strong character and making sure everyone knows who you are, not because of what someone tells them, but because what your character reflects is extremely important. Throughout my essay I will talk about Maya Angelous "What's Your Name, Girl". In this essay I believe her message and main objective was that Margaret had become angry to make a point. How she talks about this your girl which is a quiet girl but has a distinct character and tends to prove it. As well I will discuss her argument which in this case is that Margaret feels that one of the main reasons she is being treated bad is because she is color (black). Last I will explain why I believe the author makes such an argument.

Throughout the essay "What's Your Name, Girl", I really like Margaret which is a quiet girl, but has a distinct character. She was an African America slave and worked for a mistress "Mrs. Cullinan" because she was in theme of slavery she was only able to listen and do what she was told to do. At the beginning of the essay she explains how she feels pity for Mrs. Cullinan for being a woman that is cold and looks unhappy. As the story evolves Mrs. Cullinan decides to change her name from Margaret to "Mary", because Margaret was too long. (Back in this day mistresses' believed that changing their servants name was no big deal. Besides servants real names were difficult and long to pronounce-according to Margaret). Margaret was different though she believed and as she quoted "It was a dangerous practice to call a Negro anything that could be loosely construed as insulting because of the centuries of their having been called niggers, jigs, dinges, blackbirds, crows, boots, and spooks." It caused her anger problems towards Mrs. Cullinan. Margaret wanted to get back at Mrs. Cullinan, because she believed it took away her character by replacing her name with "Mary." According to Margaret, Mrs. Cullinan has no right to change her name.

Every human being should have the freedom to be named the correct way (unless wanted to be called something different), rather than a name you do not approve of. Margaret feels the main reason she is treated bad is because she is an African American. Mrs. Cullinan treats Margaret as if she was an object to be mistreated and not a human being which has feeling. Margaret knows if she was a young white woman, one of her friend's daughter, or Mr. Cullinan daughters she would be treated accurately and called her unique name regardless of length or pronunciation. Throughout the entire essay Mrs. Cullinan thinks Margaret was just like Mrs. Glory. Easy going and compelling to every rule her mistress has. So Mrs. Cullinan treats Margaret with coldness and sharpness without giving her the opportunity to let her prove herself otherwise.



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