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Black community in Toni Morrisons Song of Solomon
2001 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, uses her novels as an expression of her concern with the inter-relatedness of race, gender and class as it is lived by individuals. Each of Morrison's works, The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), and Paradise (1998) provide insights into the complexity of the black community. The ideological setting of her fiction is the sociopolitical struggle that has historically characterized the African-American experience. All of the characters in Morrison's novels exist in communities that are defined by the racial barriers formed by the surrounding white society. These barriers are both topological and psychological. The dominant white society violates, denies and sets the rules for these borders causing the black communities to suffer from confusion and anxiety. Morrison's characters have physical and psychological qualities which enhance their chances for survival and fulfillment, thus leading to the survival of the black community. However, just "being black" does not promote unity within the community as there also exists racialization and class differences within the black collectivity. This paper examines the characters in Song of Solomon in the setting of the black community with emphasis on their interactions, tensions, participation in society and the class differences which threaten the unity within the community. Furthermore, there is an investigation into the family as an institution and the African-American way of life, as well as the search for and discovery of self as it is presented in the novel. It can be concluded that while the black community is an important part of today's society, it is the contemporary individual who must embrace his/her culture and heritage to ultimately understand the complex and ambiguous meaning of racism and to instead form his/her own identity of self.

Abstract [en]

Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, uses her novels as an expression of her concern with the inter-relatedness of race, gender and class as it is lived by individuals. Each of Morrison's works, The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), and Paradise (1998) provide insights into the complexity of the black community. The ideological setting of her fiction is the sociopolitical struggle that has historically characterized the African-American experience. All of the characters in Morrison's novels exist in communities that are defined by the racial barriers formed by the surrounding white society. These barriers are both topological and psychological. The dominant white society violates, denies and sets the rules for these borders causing the black communities to suffer from confusion and anxiety. Morrison's characters have physical and psychological qualities which enhance their chances for survival and fulfillment, thus leading to the survival of the black community. However, just "being black" does not promote unity within the community as there also exists racialization and class differences within the black collectivity. This paper examines the characters in Song of Solomon in the setting of the black community with emphasis on their interactions, tensions, participation in society and the class differences which threaten the unity within the community. Furthermore, there is an investigation into the family as an institution and the African-American way of life, as well as the search for and discovery of self as it is presented in the novel. It can be concluded that while the black community is an important part of today's society, it is the contemporary individual who must embrace his/her culture and heritage to ultimately understand the complex and ambiguous meaning of racism and to instead form his/her own identity of self.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 21 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53658Local ID: ENG C-12OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53658DiVA: diva2:1102218
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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