I had two very separate trains of thought that aren’t incredibly expandable, but I feel like this works with the book so far as it has quite a few time skips and Lorde kind of blends moments and memories.
First, I was thinking about the applicability of Lorde’s experience, especially in the context of American Girl dolls. Now this may seem weird but bear with me. I grew up with the stories of girls that grew up in the depression era, during World War 2, and so many other periods of American history. As I was reading I kept thinking about how authentic of an experience Lorde is describing, yet there is only one black doll in the entire storied collection and her books are about her growing up in the north in 1855, so a very unique experience, but not as universally applicable as many of the other dolls. I wonder why there are only three people of color in the collections, and even then their stories are told as uniquely their problems. Where are the stories about the little black girl growing up during the depression and World War 2 in Harlem? And where are the dolls for the girls who read the story and identify with it?
Lastly is the idea that Lorde speaks about her mother with such great respect and admiration. I am kind of shocked about this, as my mother used a few similar methods of raising me. Obviously in a different time, but spanking, fear, and control were similar themes nonetheless. These tactics caused me to harbor a resentment towards her, even though I respected what she went through to get where she was in her life, especially raising my siblings and me. Despite this I have noticed things that I do that are similar to her. I fear some of these moments as they are often things I grew to hate, but knowing that happens with strict mothers, I was consciously looking for signs of this in the reading. I noticed it in the last chapter when she is talking about the dinners in her father’s office, and the savoring of moments, not the food. Then thinking back, she does the same thing with her mother in bed on Saturday mornings. Something Lorde looks up to her mother for is her ability to find the beauty in even the smallest things. I suspect that as we go forward in our readings Audre will grow more and more like her mother
Do you think that the experience Lorde is describing is a story that would be something girls 8+ could enjoy? (I may eat my words later in the book if it becomes more sexual) I feel a connection to my own childhood, growing up reading and getting in trouble for staying up late, do you?
Just like the question raised during Giovanni’s room, do you think that you have come to possess traits you respect your parents for? Do you think that traits like these are only noticed in ourselves if we cared to think about them in our parents at an earlier age?