In New York, Jacqueline receives a composition notebook. The smell and sound of the pages and the look of the cover immediately enrapture Jacqueline. As the memoir progresses, Jacqueline learns to write her full name in the composition notebook. She goes on to transcribe audio she hears on the radio or television into the notebook, helping her learn to read. Later, Jacqueline writes original stories and poems in the notebook. Seeing Jacqueline’s relationship to the notebook develop allows the reader to track Jacqueline’s progress as a writer and a storyteller. The notebook also symbolizes Jacqueline’s expansive freedom of imagination, which allows her to escape from the painful aspects of her life.
Composition Notebook Quotes in Brown Girl Dreaming
Words come slow to me
on the page until
I memorize them, reading the same books over
and over, copying
lyrics to songs from records and TV commercials,
the words settling into my brain, into my memory.
Not everyone learns
to read this way— memory taking over when the rest
of the brain stops working,
but I do.