Toni Morrison American Literature Analysis
The term “Magical Realism,” often used to describe the fiction of Gabriel García Márquez, has also been applied to the fiction of Morrison. Though the thematic concerns of her work are in most other ways very different from those of Nobel laureate García Márquez, one does find in Morrison’s fiction the same sense of the reality of magic, which (especially in her case) springs from a fundamental belief in the truth at the center of folklore.
The development of the use of folklore can be traced in Morrison’s novels. It begins in The Bluest Eye, in which the sample from a child’s reader that begins the novel is treated as a bit of contemporary folklore. It is an artificially constructed, white, middle-class folklore, however, which may not reveal a fundamental truth about anyone’s life and which certainly does not apply to the lives of the black residents of Lorain, Ohio. Nevertheless, the main character, Pecola, is shown as having accepted the view of the world that this children’s story encourages, even though it is a view which leaves no room for the realities of her life.
Sula, Morrison’s second novel, incorporates characters that seem almost mythic, much as figures in folklore. There is the light-skinned man called Tar Baby and the three boys that Eva Peace takes into her household. Each one is named Dewey, and their identities begin to meld together. Perhaps most notably, there is the character...
(The entire section is 6410 words.)
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