Tar Baby Chapter 8: Summary and Analysis

Toni Morrison

Chapter 8: Summary and Analysis

For years, Valerian had believed that Margaret might be a secret drinker. The real truth, that she was a child abuser, is much worse for him to accept. When she tries to explain and calls her actions “delicious,” Valerian is disgusted and heartsick, shaken by the memory of his young son, hiding in the cabinet beneath the bathroom sink, singing, but actually begging his father for help. In his distress of knowing now what he never took the time or trouble to find out nearly 30 years ago, he ignores the angel trumpets dying in the greenhouse due to the “air charged with pain.”

That night, after Ondine spewed out the secret she had harbored for many years, Valerian sat at the table until the...

(The entire section is 1160 words.)