Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby: An Ecocolonial Reading

In her novel Tar Baby, Toni Morrison writes that “No man should live without absorbing the sins of his kind” (243), noting that “the foul air of [man’s] innocence” has wilted the “rows of angel trumpets and cause[d] them to fall from their vines” (243).  Though the novel explores the complexities of the construct of race, […]

Toni Morrison’s Sula: Gender, Systemic Prejudice, and the Environment

  Considered a seminal work in Black feminist fiction (or perhaps womanist fiction), Toni Morrison’s Sula is not only a novel about how gender issues are shaped by notions of perceived race impact women, but also how it shapes the lives of men.  Morrison details the double standards women of colour are held to, whilst […]

Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Contextual Morality

  In his novel Waterland, Graham Swift suggests that history is a means of forgetting.  If this is the case, then Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved is an attempt to remember and revive one of those stories that history has chosen to exclude from its annals.  The novel tells the story of a woman named Sethe […]

Racism, Colourism, Feminism, and Womanism in Toni Morrison’s Paradise

    Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 for her novel Beloved, and would go onto win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.  Her work encompasses a broad range of topics including notions of perceived, race, gender, and class.  Morrison’s 1997 novel Paradise exemplifies this diverse range of topics.  In […]

Toni Morrison’s Jazz: Contextualizing Kyriarchy

Toni Morrison’s Jazz opens with the wake of a young woman named Dorcas.  The novel’s central character, Violet Trace, arrives at the wake, knife in hand, with the intent of disfiguring the young woman in the casket for having slept with Violet’s husband. The husband, Joe Trace, is also  the man who fired the shot […]