Themes and message


Marc Mitchell’s short story “The New Girl” mentions that the characters live in an all-white neighborhood with lower-middle-class residents. It implies that the community was likely to see the new girl and her family as outsiders because of their skin color. This is later stressed by how Allison’s mother thinks the new family will ‘ruin’ their home.

Allison’s character helps convey the theme of racism through her attitude towards the little girl. She is physically and verbally violent, rejecting the girl because she is African American. However, Allison is probably giving voice to the racism and discrimination of her parents and the other adults around her. As a 10-year-old child, she cannot fully understand that her behavior is prejudiced and racist. Reproducing her parents’ racism is her way of siding with them. This is also probably why the narrator mentions that he hopes Allison still remembers the incident as an adult, suggesting that he would like people to overcome the prejudices they inherited as children from their parents.

The narrator also gets pulled into...

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