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Authors carefully craft there narrative to address problematic love

With reference to Paule Marshall Brown Girl, Brownstones, discuss the extent to
which you agree to the statement.
"Brown Girl, Brownstones" is the first novel by the internationally recognised
writer Paule Marshall, published in 1959. It is about Barbadian immigrants in
Brooklyn, New York. The New Yorker magazine comments on the novel as
Remarkable for its courage, its colour, and its natural control. Brown Girl,
Brownstones is also one of the first African American novels to accurately
portray the complexities of African American mother-daughter relationship.
Marshall does not limit her narrative to the exploration of one specific theme;
however, is deployed in the treatment of other specific concerns such as the
searching for identity, love relationships, the effects of poverty, religion and war.
She also uses the literary and structural devices to reinforce and deploy her
themes and concerns.
Brown Girl, Brownstones is a bildungsroman, a novel about the creation of a
person's identity, in this case, young Selina Boyce is followed from the time she's
about 10 until her early twenties. Marshall engages in the third person
omniscient narrative technique which allows the reader to glimpse inside the
minds of all the various characters. Marshall organises the novel into four Books;
namely, A Long Day and a Long Night, Pastoral, The War and Selina. Within
each book, expect for Pastoral there is a minimum of 6 chapters. Such chapter
organisation systematically shows the development of problematic love
relationships between Selina and Silla, Deighton and Silla, and Selina and Clive.
Selina Boyce, born to Deighton and Silla Boyce is caught between a rock and a
hard place as she searches for her individual solidarity. Essentially, through this
technique were allowed to enter her mind to understand the factors that cause
her such a search for her solidarity. They also have an older daughter, Ina Boyce
who is much of a flat character to the narrative. Selina fears her mother and as a
child did not get much attention because was always working and coming in late.
In an interview with Melody Graudlich and Lisa Sisco where Marshall was
questioned about her works she mentioned Daughters and made reference to
Brown Girl, Brownstones as both narrative share a protagonist who receives
insufficient mother-daughter love and seeks it elsewhere. In Selinas case she
received motherly guidance from Miss. Thompson the lady who rents a room in
the Brownstones house she lives in. Miss. Thompson is the character that
supplies unconditional love to the protagonist who has derived from Marshalls
own experience as a child. Also during Sillas absence Selina looks to her father
for love .Silla wishes nothing but the best for her children, especially Selina as
she wants her to become a doctor. However, Selina refuses this dream her
mother has and it causes problems between her and Sillas, surpassingly mother
to daughter love relationship.

Silla embodies the American dream of Barbadian immigrants which is to own a

Brownstones house. She's ambitious, independent, strong and determined to
provide a better future for her daughters. Deighton loves his daughter, especially
Selina because she does not question him, at least not at first. He wants to be a
big man above everything else so he can return to Barbados a rich man. To do so
he routinely studies various correspondence courses in hopes of landing a job
that pays big money. Marshall deliberately structures differences between Silla
and Deighton to reveal the conflicting models on which Selina struggles to shape
her own identity, both through acts of alliance and rejection. As the novel
progresses, Selina develops both physically and mentally and becomes torn
between love and loyalty to her father and the fear of understanding her mother.
Once she recognises the complexity of her mothers motivation for her actions,
however, neither one of these models of ethnicity is the one she adopts.
In the book entitled The War, Marshall reaches the climax of the conflict
between Sillas and Deightons dreams and aspirations. First, Silla schemes
against Deighton and sold a piece of land he had received from a deceased
family member. Later, Deighton neglects his family and his patriarchal duties as
he blindly follows the preaching of a cult leader, Father Peace. It is here Selina
loses her love for her father. In an interview Marshall states that Brown Girl,
Brownstones is about, the death of love. This is so as Silla schemes against
Deighton and sell the only piece of wealth he had, acquires a Brownstones
house which she turns into a high price rooming house after chasing out the old
tenants. Eventually, this will cause her to lose her daughters, husband and her
Through her growth, Selina becomes more and more like Silla, she's as smart and
is as driven to achieve her goals. After losing her father Selina gives in to her
mothers dreams and attends the Barbadian Association which was form. Selinas
intimate relationship with Clive an ex-solider comes to an end when a problem
between he chose his mother over Selina when she most needed him. Although,
this was foreshadowed when Selina first met him and in failing to read his palms
said you have no fortune. In an act of developed rebellion, she effectively
destroys her relationship with her mother by admitting she intended to run off
with Clive after winning the scholarship prize. This leaves Silla alone with her
newly acquired brownstone as well as her guilt, and Selina with the task of
coming to terms with strong, ambivalent feelings toward her mother and her own
West Indian American heritage.
Throughout the novel Marshall allows the readers to see major problematic love
relationship between Deighton and Silla, Selina and Silla and Selina and Clive
which is caused by the effects of poverty, religion and war. Marshall has carefully
crafted Brown Girl, Brownstones as not only limited to the exploration of one
specific theme but has deployed it in the treatment of other specific concerns.