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Brownies Symbolism

Brownies by ZZ Packer is about a girl named Laurel and her Brownie Troops camping trip at Camp Crescendo. The Brownie troop is a group of African American girls that are not exposed to Caucasians. In their society they talk poorly about them. They have faced racism most of their life so when they see Troop 909, a troop of white girls, they are easily threatened. Arnetta and Octavia run the group. Arnetta the “mean girl” tells the group that one of the girls from Troop 909 called Daphne a nigger. After this they form a plan to attack the other troop in the bathroom. In the end, it turned out that Troop 909 was a group of girls with special needs and the chances of them meaning what they said was very unlikely.

“I’ve got something in my pocket; It belongs across my face. And I keep it very close at hand in a most convenient place. I’m sure you couldn’t guess it If you guessed a long, long while. So I’ll take it out and put it on— It’s a great big Brownie smile!”

The symbolism in Brownies is very ironic. The main symbol is Brownies itself. Brownies are a group of girls that are suppose to be kind, friendly, and help others. They symbolize leaders and friendship. In the story that is the exact opposite of what the troop actually is. Within the Brownie troop there is a lot of conflicts. Girls are being pushed around and made fun of which is nothing like what friendship. Also the troops behavior is very un-brownie like. They are automatically assuming and starting problems with another troop as appose to making friends with them like they should. The irony in the symbolism is most likely used to show the difference between the way they are expected to act and the way they actually do act.  

Categories: Fiction
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