Style of writing

The language in the short story “Fatima, the Biloquist: A transformation Story” by Nafissa Thompson-Spires is informal and reflects the way a girl Fatima’s age would talk. This renders realism to the story and make readers empathize with Fatima more.

A particularly notable aspect of the vocabulary consists in the African-American expressions that Violet teaches Fatima. These are presented as a list, often with comments and explanations:

5. A grip = a lot, as in “I just found a grip of marshmallows in the cupboard.”

6. Peeps = those cute little marshmallows and also people/ folks

7. Whoadie = ? [Violet wasn’t sure either, but you were supposed to say it.]

8. Shawty = like, your girl, or your boo

The comments and explanations add humor to the story. They also show how dedicated Violet is in her attempts to teach Fatima how to get in touch with her African-American identity.

The story contains a lot of references to pop culture and to what music, movies, and TV shows were popular at the time. This also adds authenticity to the text. 

Other allusions are also present in the text. The most notable one is the allusion to Charles Brockden Brown and Carwin the Biloquist. Charles Brokden Brown was an American...

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