“Blue Talk and Love”, the short story by Mecca Sullivan, explores the complex interworking and relationships of a coming of age girl named Earnestine. This story is very unlike other pieces we’ve read- both in format and subject matter. explores the relations of race, class, body issues, early sexualization, marriage, and urbanization all in one piece. In addition, she also addresses the ideas of loneliness and love.
Mecca Sullivan begins her piece discussing Earnestine relationship and friendship with Xiomara. Xiomara is the more idealized view of beauty in American Society, and E seems to be both jealous and crave her. Yet at the same time, she has an amount of hatred for her- their relationship is complicated, and reflects the complications of most relationships. Throughout the piece, there is attention to appearance and the way things look. She begins the piece describing what Xiomara and Earnestine look like and the implications of their appearance, raising discussion of body image. Often in her writing, Sullivan describes things and events as the way the look. For example, when Earnestine accidentally comes across pornographic movie, she describes and introduces the situation with, “Earnestine was looking at a naked man” (pg. 38). Sullivan’s emphasis on their appearance also raises the issue of sexualization of young girls- from her story, you may think the girls were in their later teenage years or into adulthood. However, in reality, the girls are only in sixth grade.
Sullivan also writes about the complicated marriage of Earnestine’s parents. Confusing mostly on her father, the third person emphasizes the worry Earnestine has about her father, as she sees him as being very lonely and emasculated. This is contradictory and in juxtaposition of the dreamt about marriage of stereotypical America.