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Racism plays a very important role in this story, as Roberta and Twyla are of opposite races. When they are young, they think nothing of it, but they learn from their mothers what it means to discriminate. As they get older, they dislike each other more for who they are, and find it hard to feel sympathy for the opposite race when they are neglected. In the final encounter that they have with each other, we see a conclusion that is much like our own world today; no real ending of their horrible feelings towards each other.
Youth and Innocence
Twyla and Roberta meet each other when they are just little girls in a state home for children without mothers that can take proper care of them. At this point, the children are quite innocent, and the only conflicts they have are silly ones. They see right past the other's race, but only learn what it means to discriminate from the older generations. As the story goes on, we see how each of them loses their youth, and with it comes their innocence, their ability to accept everyone as an equal.
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