Thursday, January 8, 2009


While reading the book Caucasia, I noticed that I found the book to be interesting. The book is about a white girl with straight hair named Birdie. Birdie grew up with a white mom, but she also grew up with a black father. Birdie had an older sister who was also black like her father. As the beginning progresses she begins to notice her race, when going to an all black school. Things start to turn around for Birdie, race was never an issue to her before, and now all of a sudden it becomes something she never noticed or looked at. Pretty soon her family is separated and Birdie is on the run with her mom, racing to get away from their own identity and start all over again.

What I noticed so far throughout the book is motifs. Some such as Invisiblity, Silence, being held back, and music.
Invisiblity is seen significantly throughout the book...well at least to the part I've reached.
Some examples....
"Perhaps I was protecting myself from something more obvious than my mother's invisible enemy--something Samantha faced every day"-Birdie/Jesse pg. 259
"...they seemed to move in slow motion, heavy, lumbering movements, looking through me, not at me, as I walked over bodies, shoved past couples who made out against walls." - Birdie/Jesse pg. 283
" I wondered why she couldn't see me, and felt a thrill of anonymity, invisibility, all of a sudden." -Birdie pg. 13
From reading the book, I've seen the motif of invisibility as something that was already there. From Birdie's perspective it seems like her true personality was always somewhat invisible, she always tried to transform herself to fit into the mold of anothers. Such as entertaining her father and sister when they were talking amongst themselfs. The reoccuring motif of invisibility led me to another which is Always being held back.

Held Back/ Pulled Foward
"I shrugged and moved to turn away. But I felt his hand squeezing into my arm--tight." -Birdie pg. 14

"When I was close enough, she grabbed my arm and pulled me down so I leaned over her." -Birdie pg. 164

(The whole "on the run" case is another example of Birdie being moved around and pulled forward.)

These examples show how Birdie is never sticking up for herself...she's always being held back instead of taking a step forward. For awhile that was constantly reoccuring, but lately it's been starting to change. Now being held back is showing up rarely. But it's still there from time to time.

"I swayed before them, listening to the rock music that pounded out from the heavy red door."- Birdie pg 289

"I had to face the music sometime. Now was as good a time as any." -Birdie/ Jesse talking about Jim pg. 255

"...and his voice singing along to something on the eight-track cassette, something falsetto and sentimental like the reasons that we're here, the reasons that we let our feelings disappear." -Birdie/Jesse pg. 188

Music is also seen a lot throughout the book. To me the music is metaphoric for change and identity. In the second quote Birdie and or Jesse was talking about how she had to face Jim. She had to face the changes that was happening in her life at that moment.
Another example is when Jim was first introduced music was playing in the background...perhaps maybe forshadowing coming events....

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