Tar Baby Chapter 4: Summary and Analysis

Toni Morrison

Chapter 4: Summary and Analysis

New Character:
Alma Estee: a black girl who sometimes lives with Gideon and Therese

The next morning, Margaret refuses to leave her room because Valerian had insulted her by offering the black intruder a drink and then a bed for the night. Her prejudice toward the stranger is revealed when she describes him as a “real live dope addict ape.” Her thoughts jump erratically from the present to the past as she compares her room in L’Arbe de la Croix to the trailer coziness of her youth. She had thought the trailer grand until she turned 14 and overheard it called “tacky.” She thought when she met Valerian, his “squared fingernails” indicated safety for her. Now she is appalled...

(The entire section is 1474 words.)