The ClassicNote study guide on Gorilla, My Love contains a biography of Toni Cade Bambara, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz. Gorilla, My Love. Toni Cade Bambara “Gorilla, My Love” is the story of Hazel, a young girl who feels that adults do not treat children with respect and. GORILLA, MY LOVE Source for information on Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara, Reference Guide to Short Fiction dictionary.

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Bambara often has characters trying to describe something by comparing to something else they know. Bambara did not set out to write a story that would be studied in classrooms, or picked about by literary theorists. Not all the stories are easy reading, like I said some are dark but overall a pretty good collection pove short stories.

They have taught her bambraa be truthful and to hold people to their word. Although Bambara herself was a political activist, the story is not primarily political.

The theater is forced to close for a week. It is a true dialect, governed by its own set of rules for syntax, pronunciation, and grammar.

In the second part group of four stories, the relationships bambars female characters and cadf families are discussed to show that foregrounded contention masks affectionate cohesion.

It reads more like an anthology of unrelated or loosely related stories, which is what it is. Bambara participated in several community and activist organizations, and her work was influenced by the Civil Rights and Black Nationalist movements of the s. The fifteen taut stories are fascinating glimpses into the lives of Black women and girls, some in the streets in New York, some in the Southern small town.

Condescension, the verbal or communicative playing of tricks “trickified business,” as Hazel calls it in another context and the lack of empathy stand out as the traits of the adult world as presented by myy primary dramatic situation of the story. You have to love the little girl in the title story, if perhaps you might not want to have to be an adult dealing with her.

Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara

The narrators use ambiguous words, phrases, and references to multiply meanings. Hazel’s emotional outrage generates caade only a pointed dialogue with uncle and grandfather, but also brings to her mind analogies from other conflicts and confrontations with the adult world, notably her parents, school, and one drastic and exemplary clash with a movie theater and its manager.

Mar 12, Rod-Kelly Hines rated it liked it Shelves: I always thought of myself as a community person who writes and does a few other things. In the early part of the twentieth century, literary scholars were fascinated by the biographical and historical sources of a text, and their work came to be called historical criticism. Because Granddaddy has little memory, “sometime you can just plain lie to him.

Hazel remembers the year when Hunca Bubba, her uncle, changed his name; henceforth, because he is in love and plans to be married, he is to be called by his real name, Jefferson Winston Vale. He is not changing his name, but changing it back, they say. What makes a story like “Gorilla, My Lov great is not that it provides an answer but that it raises so many interesting questions.

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Bambara and other writers, during the period when these issues were first reaching the general public, added to the respect given the dialect by showing its functionality and power in such stories as “Gorilla, My Love.

Gorilla, My Love

By presenting this material as a kind of inner monologue of the child Hazel whose age is never specified but could be placed anywhere between 8 and 12 yearsthe text is tonj to unfold as a form of improvisational speech act, starting out as a retrospective return to the situation “That was the year Hunca Bubba changed his name”but ending up by being completely caught up in the remembered situation as present tense action “And don’t even say they sorry”.

Additionally, the book really suffers a lull in the middle, with the most compelling vignettes at both ends. But the next line begins, “Like when me and Big Brood and Baby Jason was on our own,” and the bbambara abruptly changes direction to tell the story of the falsely advertised movie.

In another thirty years, the issues may be entirely different ones. Schwartz and are amazed at the prices of toys.

Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara, |

A number of 5 star short stories in this collection, some of the best I’ve ever read. The subtle and varied strategies used to achieve this double vision include puns and pantomime and is a form of Signifyin g. This tough girl weeps like a baby, and Baby Jason joins in. Her father, seeing Hazel’s point, puts away his belt.

It juxtaposes the naivete or credulity of a non-adult perspective with the opportunism or corruption of the adult world. Nancy Hargrove, in an essay in The Southern Quarterly, writes that “one is immediately struck by … her faithful reproduction of black dialect.

Would the very same story, if it had been written by a white man, have the same value? This is the kind of marriage Hazel seeks, and it is the kind Vale achieves. The beauty is in the simplicity in Gorilla, My Love, and in each story we are presented with more questions than answers in a series of stories taking place goni New York and rural North Carolina.

The main character later bears witness to a confrontation between Manny and some police officers who try to remove him from a basketball court when he is caught there playing after hours. Hazel’s other reason for sitting in the front “navigator seat” xade her pride in following the map and directing her grandfather’s driving. Bambara loved laughter, and because she hoped readers would find Hazel’s bravado funny, she tossed out most of her first draft to give the story a more humorous tone.

A critic during the end of the century, when Bambara created her fiction, would have asked a new set of questions: Can a man write a true and important story about women? Cause I am a movie freak from way back, even though it do get me case trouble sometime.


Hazel’s feelings are nearly universal, shared by most adolescents. Washington Irving ‘s eighteenth-century tale Rip Van Winkle, is framed by an accounting of how the narrator found the story among grilla notes of a dead man. How does Hazel’s story shed light on the oppression of women, or of African Americans? When Hazel was very young, her favorite uncle, Hunca Bubba, promised to marry her when she grew up, a promise which he gave lightly but which she took seriously.

They see her behavior as overly sexual and miss the mo I didn’t have time to read these stories as carefully as I would have liked had to get the book back to the library and hope to pick the book up again at some point. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Few black writers have captured the wit and humor of black life as skillfully as Bambara. Hazel watches quietly for a while, and realizes that the Jesus portrayed in the movie is so passive mj he could never hold his own in Hazel’s loud and combative family.

She speaks her mind when demanding the truth about Hunca Bubba’s intentions. Although her work teems with the life and language of black people, what is equally striking about it, and about this collection particularly, is the universality of its themes. When she is disappointed by the content of a film, for example, she misdirects her complaints, first to the people in the seats ym front of gotilla, then to the projectionist, and finally to the theater manager, none of whom made the film.

The movie episode generates so much referential and cads energy and verve for Hazel’s voice that it can casually call forth analogous illustrations from family and school situations and can in one case fuse the outlines of the crucifixion in a film on Jesus King of Kings with the imagined gorillaa of Hazel’s family to its reenactment by Big Brood, her big brother, in an everyday setting and context, producing a virtuoso conflation of religious and domestic motifs which pours vitriolic scorn on Christian iconography while brilliantly asserting and satirizing the extended black family.

Also in Vintage Contemporaries. The yorilla Badbird provides the bridge to Hazel’s mother who honi been backing her daughter in school where she commands respect “cause Mama got pull with the board and bad by her own self anyhow”—”bad” meaning strong and ggorilla, as used in the streets —a backing Hazel needs against the lack of recognition for her intelligence “When in reality I am the smartest kid P.