Brown Girl, Brownstones Themes

Brown Girl, Brownstones Themes


Throughout the novel, we see instances of racism. Many of Selina's encounters with white people in society are often tinged with racist undertones. The title of the novel also alludes to the fact that Selina is not only an immigrant, but specifically, she is a non-white immigrant.

Furthermore, in the second half of the novel, Miss Thomson also reveals to Selina that she has a scar on her leg which was the result of a racist attack against her. This once again highlights the racist undertones of societal interactions that underpin the novel.

Conflict and Consensus

The premise for most of the interactions in the novel is often that of a confrontation between two of the characters. Furthermore, the title of the second book, "The War," also alludes to the ongoing conflict between Deighton and Silla.

Freedom and Oppression

The themes of freedom and oppression are most prominently seen through the experiences that Selina has. Through her interactions with the various other actors in the novel, we observe how she is often constrained by the wills of others. For example, she is threatened by her mother early on in the third book. She only escapes this oppression when she decides to follow her own ambitions and begin her studies in college.

Coming of Age

The idea of puberty and coming of age is something that Selina is depicted in the second book to struggle with. She is outrightly unsure of how to feel towards the whole concept, although she does eventually come to terms with it being a natural process.

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