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October 20, 2005


Colin Michael P.

I too analyzed Kitchenette Building by Gwendolyn Brooks. I think you analyzed the meaning correctly by saying that is about dreams or specifically the American Dream. However, I think she is stating in the beginning of poem that the giddy sound of dreams are different from the factors of reality such as "rent" and "feeding a wife." They are tasks that are necessary in life and leave little time for dreams.
The poem seems to reflect the day-dreaming thought processes of the narrator. This is because she is pondering the ideas of her dreams and how they could possibly exist in a reality that is filled with "ripening garbage." Then at the end she seems to wake up and realize that it is her turn to use the bathroom and although it is not some extravagant dream/goal in life, she begins to look forward to taking a bath - one of life's little pleasures.
What is a Kitchentette building? One of the questions below the poem asks that, and I was wondering what it could be.

Sam K.

We can analyze the word "kitchenette" through some simple exercises in etymology. "Kitchen:" the kitchen, vis a vis, the room in your home in which you prepare meals. "Ette:" suffix siginifying female, for example, "dudette," "barrette," etc. So kitchenette is a female kitchen. In other words, Brooks is not only decrying the state of the American Dream in her poem, but also critiquing modern Feminism. Taking a bath becomes not just a relaxing experience, but a symbolic gesture of female empowerment. Ingenious. THAT's why we named a school after her.


Cam, I hope you went to swimming tonight, think about what Mr. Quinn would say! Paris Hilton?


Cam, I disagree.

Shasta Cola

"ette" does not mean feminine. It means diminutive. A kitchenette means a small kitchen. Adding "ette" to the end of a noun is a way of making it smaller. It can mean feminine, i.e. "majorette", but in this context kitchenette just signifies a small kitchen that is used in a small confined space.

Term Papers

context kitchenette just signifies a small kitchen that is used in a small confined space.


if you've read "kitchenette building" by G.B., read her poem "We Real Cool". It's one of my favorites.

Paully D

kitchenette building is a type of building that was made by splitting up a single house into smaller sub-houses in order to get more renters into a designated space. It was done particularly in black neighborhoods.

Adrey Lyn

Thanks for the post!

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