Recitatif Questions and Answers
by Toni Morrison

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Why is the story titled “Recitatif”? In what way does this story combine speech and song?

"Recitatif" is a French style of performance that combines song and dialogue, often used as an interlude in operas. Therefore, the story "Recitatif" by Toni Morrison is a series of interludes in the life of the main character, Twyla.

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Toni Morrison's short story "Recitatif" outlines the meetings of Roberta and Twyla. First as eight-year-olds in a shelter, then as teens in a gas station, then as adults in a grocery store, then as adults at a school, and finally in a diner.

The word recitatif is a French style of performance. It combines music and speech and is often used as a narrative interlude in operas and oratories. It is also called recitative and resembles speech more than formal music.

"Recitatif" is the perfect title for this story, because each meeting between the two girls is like an interlude in Twyla's life.

In this story, we only meet Twyla in the moments where she runs into Roberta. We get some glimpses of her life:

I was working behind the counter at the Howard...

(The entire section contains 405 words.)

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