” My Name is Margaret” Our name identifies us in many ways. It connects us to who we are and connects us to ourfamily. White people have had the power to express what identifies them best and black people really never got the chance to experience what identity is, it has always been prearranged for them. This passage’s main point is about identity and breaking out of the silence that the whites have had over the black people, about taking control and breaking the norms. In this story, Margaret is angry with the fact that Viola Cullinan calls her by ‘Mary ust for her convenience because Margaret is too long. Twenty years. I wasn’t much older than you. My name used to be Hallelujah. That’s what Ma named me, but my mistress gave me ‘Glory,’ and it stuck. I likes it better too. ” -Miss Glory Miss Glory, the cook, mentions that her real name was ‘Hallelujah’ and that her mistress gave her the name ‘Glory and it stuck. It stuck for twenty years but claims she likes that name better anyway and ” It’s shorter too. ” This shows how much power the whites had over the blacks. They were a much more superior race. Margaret entions Mr. Cullinan only briefly. Margaret states ” Her (Mrs.
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Cullinan) husband remains, but in my memory, undefined. I lumped him with all the other white men that I had ever seen and tried not to see. ” So I thought that she didn’t have any kind of relationship with Mr. Cullinan if she tried to ignore and not face him. It then starts talking about how he has two daughters with a colored woman and from my assumption, I think that he raped the colored woman since this did often happen in the 1930s. Margaret talks about the girls’ father and then says ” l was unable to emember what he looked like, although I had Just left him a few hours before, but I thought of the Coleman girls. I was troubled by this. What does Margaret mean she just left him? And if she did Just leave him, why was she unable to remember his face? I didn’t know what this meant at first and I kept rereading this and came to the realization that she was raped. This is why she had hatred toward not only Viola, but her husband. I can imagine Margaret trying to close her eyes and trying not to see this man while raping her. It all makes sense now. But the sad thing is, she was aped by other white men as well if you read the paragraph about Mr.
Cullinan again. As I read her story, I have to uncover something that isn’t pleasant; in fact, it devastates the young girl and, one assumes, her family. Now, it doesn’t say much about Margaret’s family besides her mother and I was getting concerned whether I should include this as part of my essay. After trying to fgure out what I was being asked to include, I came to an understanding. Margaret is pregnant. There are so many hints such as her throwing up her lunch and talking about her stomach.
Margaret breaks the china and it could be her mood swings taking control. Her and her baby would make a family and it’s devastating how such a blessing can come from something so tragic. At first I thought Margaret was angry because of her new name, but it was much more than that. Each race has their own prejudice toward one another; however, the whites v. blacks will never truly fade away. There will always be jokes and seriousness about this situation. The contlict will always go on. This story does need to be decoded with a close reading.
There was a more personal reason for her anger. The author has made this an allusion. She is lost in wonderland, someone else’s definition of her own identity, she was raped, and she is now pregnant and Just imagine all the pain and emotion. In the end, Margaret left that house with dignity. She didn’t want to quit but Margaret’s mother wouldn’t let her quit for any reason. So she conducts a plan to get fired. She drops and empty serving tray and a casserole and two of the green glass cups that was Viola Cullinan’s mother’s china from Virginia. Mrs.
Cullinan cries as she bends down to pick up the broken china. Miss Glory comes running in and asks ” Who did it, Viola? Was it Mary? Who did it? ” Mrs. Cullinan then says ” Her name’s Margaret, goddamn it, her name’s Margaret. ” How ironic is that? Miss Glory is calling Margaret, Mary. ” Mrs. Cullinan was right about one thing. My name wasn’t Mary. ” And during Margaret’s tenth year, a white woman’s kitchen became her finishing school. Margaret has found herself and will not be taken advantage of again, she is now the one holding power upon herself.