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The Dry Grass of August
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Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

Created: 12/17/11

Replies: 6

Posted Dec. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 41

Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

Mary adopted what could be described as a more heavily black dialect when she spoke to other black characters at the tent revival. Why do you think she did this?


Posted Dec. 18, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahd

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 84

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RE: Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

I don't know if she adopted a "different" way of speaking when she was at the tent revival or if her "different" way of speaking was with Jubie's family. I would guess that her "dialect" at the revival was closer to her natural way of speaking. When she was with her employers, she would be expected to present herself in a certain way, but when she's among black people, she would feel more comfortable speaking the way she normally does.


Sarah D
Posted Dec. 21, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 41

RE: Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

That is an interesting point, Sarah. Which was Mary's normal way of speaking? I got the impression that she deliberately changed her way of speaking at the tent revival because when Jubie heard Mary speaking like that, she started to question it and Mary essentially shushed her (p. 174). And I don't remember her speaking like that with the black people in Charlotte (at the parade, for example). Maybe she felt she had to speak differently at the tent revival because they were in the deep South and it seemed more appropriate. Or maybe she was reverting to the way she spoke growing up. I've noticed that my Southern accent, which isn't very noticable after more than 20 years away, becomes much more pronounced when I visit the deep South!


Posted Dec. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 242

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RE: Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

I think Mary knew that she had to make herself fit in so that Stell and Jubie would be allowed to be there without a major problem. Mary cared very much for these two and was being protective in the way she thought best.


Posted Dec. 29, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeant

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 3

RE: Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

I agree with Joyce that Mary saw the wisdom and necessity of adapting her behaviors to fit in with the circumstances in which she found herself. This was for her own self preservation as well as the protection of the children. Don't we all adapt aspects of our behavior to fit in at times? Unless we are seeking to rebel against unacceptable constraints and are hopefully willing and able to accept the consequences, I think we humans tend to feel much more comfortable when we "fit in".


Posted Jan. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 80

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RE: Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

I think that Mary altered the way she spoke every day when she was working with the family. The way she spoke at the tent meeting was her normal dialect. Since they were somewhere that was part of her life, she felt like she could talk normally and not have to change to the way she spoke at her job.


Posted Jan. 31, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sylviaj

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 30

RE: Why do you think Mary altered the way she spoke at the tent revival?

Mary did what was normal for the times. You spoke one way as a domestic in the home of the family you worked for and another way with your own community.


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