Blackness in the Novels of Toni Morrison

Lang'at-Mutahi, Judith C. (1992) Blackness in the Novels of Toni Morrison. Masters thesis, Kenyatta University.

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This study sets out to explore the distinctive features of Toni Morrison's writings. It employs a sociostylistic theoretical framework which allows us to view Morrison’s sociological material from a stvlistic perspective as well. This theory conflates the central aspects of the African-American literary theory and feminists’ literary theory in order to explore the various perspectives and writing traditions which come together in Toni Morrison's works to create distinctive style. The thesis begins by Looking at the general background to the work of Toni Morrison and the context in which she writes. It then focuses of the African-American experience as presented in The Bluest eye. Morrison’s depiction places the experiences of the black person in a relevant context in which the past and the present serve to outline a future for the often uprooted black individual in America. In this respect, her choice of situation is totally African-American. In Chapter three, we explore this experience further to look specifically at the African-American woman. We use the text of Beloved to conceptualize that the African-American female experience encapsulates yet moves beyond the experiences of white and black males as well as white women. In Morrison's view the black woman's experiences should be seen as something beyond and different from all these experiences because black women experience life in America both as black people and as women - an experience which is unique in America and which has provided its own unique representation in African-American literature. To Morrison, the Black woman's experience is all this and more if one goes beyond the depiction of stereotypes. In chapter 4, we define 'blackness' as an art form and demonstrate this by examining the language used in the text of Sula. We show the link that Morrison draws between language and the values of a people by identifying varieties of language use in the text of Sula and examining their sociological implications for Morrison's vision. Finally, in the concluding chapter we comment on Morrison's contribution to African-American Literature as viewed through her vision and perspective of the black experience and the language.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Tim Khabala
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 13:53
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 13:53

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