What is the exposition in the story "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The purpose of "exposition" is to...

...provide some background and inform the readers about the plot, character, setting, and theme of the essay/story...

In Toni Cade Bambara's story, "Raymond's Run," the exposition takes place at the very beginning. It is here that we are introduced to Raymond and his "difficulties." We learn that he is "slow," and that a lot of people have unkind things to say about him, but not with Squeaky around. It's her job to keep an eye on him.

We are also introduced to the narrator, Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker (known in the story as "Squeaky"). She has an "upfront attitude," she won't "play the dozens" ("exchange rhyming insults"), will fight first and ask questions later, and she can run. Without even knowing exactly what the plot is, we can assume that "running" is an important element in Bambara's tale because she has called it "Raymond's Run."

As readers we can surmise that the plot involves running and the relationship Squeaky has with her brother Raymond. For although she is the athlete in the family, the title conveys that Squeaky is telling Raymond's story, which reinforces the kind of relationship the two kids have. We learn all of this from the beginning of the story, in the exposition.