What are at least two details we learn about the protagonist from the first sentence of "Raymond's Run," by Toni Cade Bambara?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first two sentences in Toni Cade Bambara's short story "Raymond's Run" reveal some significant information about the speaker/narrator of this story:

I don’t have much work to do around the house like some girls. My mother does that.

From these two sentences we learn that these lines are spoken by a character in the novel and that she is a female. We also know that many other females who are the same age as the narrator have to do more work (presumably chores) in their homes than she does--but that the narrator does have to do something "around the house."

The fact that the speaker of the lines refers to her peers as "girls" and then refers to her mother suggests that she is a female of a certain age, probably fairly young. The narrator also lets her readers know that her mother spends her time working at home, though she does certainly not intimate (hint) that all her mother does is work. The lines are "spoken" in a clear, straightforward voice, so we do not expect to have to struggle to understand the story she is about to tell us.

What we do not know is exactly how old the speaker is, what her specific chore or chores are, or precisely what her mother does do for household chores. Still, these two lines reveal a lot to the reader about this story's narrator.