Here Is a lot of color Imagery in this poem, the first stanza especially. It mentions 6 different colors, all describing the lies. It’s about an African American girl that may tell little Lies that don’t really mean much. She would Ill about where she lived, and where she bought her clothes, but would also Ill about being African American. Right below the poem is the history of Nathan They’re, and she was a girl that was just light enough to pass for white.
It’s actually really sad the way she describes lying bout her skin color. She writes, “l could even keep quiet, quiet as kept, like the time a white girl said (squeezing my hand), Now we have three of us in this class. ” It’s sad because she’s not lying to act cool. When she writes “squeezing my hand,” I get a sense that she only lied because she liked the way the girl was acting like her friend. The first stanza does a really good Job in describing that she is really light skinned for an African American.
It says, “l was growing up/light-bright, near-white/high-yellow, De-boned/Len a black place. ” The words “light-bright” and “near-white” make me think of a very light color. I also get a double meaning with the color white. While white Is connected throughout the poem to lies, at the end of the poem It Is connected to soap that will purify someone. She writes, “She laid her hands on enjoyment washed out my mouth/with Ivory soap. This/was to purify, she said,/and cleanse your lying tongue. These few lines make me think that she’s trying to describe white as the eight thing. She does this again in the second stanza when she says, “l could act like my homemade dresses come straight out of the window at Manson Balance.
Natasha Trethewey’s White LiesIn colloquial use, the title phrase white lies refer to relatively harmless lies thatsave one from being embarrassed. Natasha Trethewey’s poem “White Lies”introduces a young girl struggling to acknowledge her true identity. As being half-white and half-black, the young girl lives under the façade of a pure white girl. Thecolors in the poem provide the readers with vivid imagery and a significantunderlying message, and they also paint a picture of a young girl untrue to herself.This poem begins with the subject of harmless lies, but as the poem develops, colorand truth are discussed in terms of race in America.Threthewey was born in Mississippi in 1966, and she’s a child of a black motherand a white father. At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in Mississippi.Therefore, it can be predicted that the young girl in the poem is Trethewey herself.The status quo of an interracial marriage at the time increased the shame thatTretheway felt as a half-black half-white girl living in the South.