Tar Baby Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

Toni Morrison

Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Although she wants coffee, why will Margaret not go downstairs?

2. What gift has Jadine received from her potential fiance?

3. What were the Christmas presents bought by Jadine for the Childs and the Streets?

4. How has Yardman been neglectful toward Ondine?

5. What does Ondine mean by these words: “Drop that bone”?

6. Why has Yardman come to Isle des Chevaliers?

7. What words described Margaret’s prejudice toward the intruder?

8. What causes Therese to lose her ability to speak English?

9. What information about herself does Jadine read to the intruder?

10. What is Therese’s favorite food?

Answers
1. Margaret would not go downstairs to get the coffee she wants because she thinks Valerian has insulted her through his actions with the black intruder, who is still in the house. She still has fear of the intruder.

2. Ryk has given Jadine a sealskin coat made from 90 baby seal skins.

3. Jadine bought a dozen fine shirts for Sydney, a black chiffon dress with matching zircon-studded shoes for Ondine, a record album for Valerian, and a chain of gold coins for Margaret.

4. Yardman had been neglectful in his behavior by forgetting to pluck the chickens for Ondine.

5. When Ondine tells Sydney, “Drop that bone,” she means for him to stop worrying or complaining about something. In this situation, Sydney is upset about Valerian’s graciousness to the black intruder found in Margaret’s closet.

6. Gideon came to the island because he thought he was going to manage his Aunt Therese’s vast holdings. Actually, she had very little financial backing and wanted his companionship.

7. Margaret shows her prejudice toward the intruder by calling him a “real live dope addict ape.”

8. When Therese becomes excited about the story she has created about the happenings in Valerian’s house, she loses her ability to speak English and reverts to her native French.

9. Jadine reads from the article written about her when the intruder expresses his curiosity. He learns from her words that she is a model who has just received a degree in art history from the Sorbonne and that she creates cloissonne jewelry. Jadine has also acted in a film.

10. Therese’s favorite food is an apple. Yardman has just brought her 12.