What is the theme of Toni Morrison's novel God Help the Child?

The themes of Toni Morrison's novel God Help the Child include race and child abuse. Our protagonist is neglected and abused by her mother for having dark skin.

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I would argue that the themes of Toni Morrison's poignant novel are race issues and child abuse. Despite having blue-black skin that is described as beautiful, our protagonist , Bride, was rejected by her mother throughout her childhood for having skin that was too dark. According to her mother,...

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I would argue that the themes of Toni Morrison's poignant novel are race issues and child abuse. Despite having blue-black skin that is described as beautiful, our protagonist, Bride, was rejected by her mother throughout her childhood for having skin that was too dark. According to her mother, ironically named Sweetness, Bride was too dark. Her mother made no effort to conceal her disgust for the child, and the neglect grew so strong that Bride longed for a spanking just to feel physical touch.

Bride's efforts to get her mother's attention get more creative, and result in the terrible decision to accuse someone innocent of a crime. Although Bride tries to make up for this as an adult, the fact that she has known only unkindness and neglect in her life hampers her efforts.

The theme of race is prevalent because had it not been for the deep-black color of her skin, which reminded her prejudiced mother of a Sudanese complexion, she would have had a more "normal" life, and not been abused and neglected by her mother. The theme of abuse is closely linked to that, because her race caused her to experience neglect and abuse at the hands of her mother.

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