Student Question

Compare the journeys of one or two characters in Home by Toni Morrison.

Expert Answers

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With its complex structure and switching between narrators, Toni Morrison’s novel does not present a linear narrative of the characters’ lives. This structure can present challenges to tracing a character’s journey. Frank is the protagonist and his reflections offer the most consistent thread that holds the book together. However, the latter part of his journey—beginning when he escapes from the mental hospital where he was detained—is closely connected to his strong desire to help his sister, Cee. As the two had grown up together and been very close as children, their journeys are inextricably intertwined. One could interpret Frank’s journey as his lifelong progress through his experiences in the military and after his service, the reasons he ended up in the mental hospital, and his quest to come to his sister’s aid. Another approach would be to begin tracing his journey at the point he escapes and focus on the ways that changes by taking up that mission.

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