In "To Da-duh in Memorium," what is the grandmother's initial reaction to the narrator?

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At the beginning of the short story (which the author states is autobiographical), the author stresses that she had a complex relationship with her grandmother.

Ours was a complex relationship—close, affectionate, yet rivalrous. During the year I spent with her a subtle kind of power struggle went on between us....

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At the beginning of the short story (which the author states is autobiographical), the author stresses that she had a complex relationship with her grandmother.

Ours was a complex relationship—close, affectionate, yet rivalrous. During the year I spent with her a subtle kind of power struggle went on between us. It was as if we both knew, at a level beyond words, that I had come into the world not only to love her and to continue her line but to take her very life in order that I might live.

This is expressed during their first meeting, at the port in Barbados. The grandmother has already shown herself a formidable and strong character by the way she reduced the narrator's mother to the status of a child. So, when she stares hard into the narrator's face before drawing back suddenly, without reaching out to touch her, the narrator states,

It was almost as if she saw not only me, a thin truculent child who it was said took after no one but myself, but something in me that for some reason she found disturbing, even threatening.

When her mother says that they don't know where the narrator comes from, the narrator finds herself laughing along with everyone else. After all, she states, her grandmother was the first to look away during their initial staring match. "I had won the encounter."

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The grandmother's initial reaction to the narrator is less than positive. While Da-Duh pronounces the narrator's high-cheek-boned sister 'pretty,' she appears to shrink back from the narrator after scrutinizing her intently. The narrator thinks that her grandmother sees something 'disturbing, even threatening' in the narrator. Besides the fact the Da-Duh prefers boys and is said to favor fair skin in her grandchildren, the narrator feels oddly disconcerted at Da-Duh's appraisal of her as fierce-looking.

The author's less than positive first impression on Da-Duh foreshadows future conflict between the narrator and her grandmother. Indeed, as they spend more time with each other, both come to realize that they have similar natures; they are both stubborn and unyielding, especially if they believe in the rightness of their positions. While the narrator's stubbornness is borne of youthful optimism, Da-Duh's stubbornness derives from her fear that the foreign technological modernity that her granddaughter describes will eventually crowd out the simple world she has always known.

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