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Writing Reality in Fiction Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Reality in Fiction Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Reality in Fiction Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

2 Morrison’s Childhood Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in 1931 Grew up in Lorain, Ohio Setting for many of her novels Parents George and Ramah Willis Wofford Interested in reading and writing Quite taken with classic literature

3 Education Early education in hometown Howard University, B.A. in English, 1953 Jaded by superficial lifestyle Changed her name to Toni Cornell University, M.A. in English literature, 1955

4 Career Taught English at various universities (Howard, Texas Southern) Senior editor at Random House 1965-85 Famous written works: Song of Solomon, Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination Famous works edited: Race-ing Justice, En- Gendering Power Also the writer of children’s books, musical productions, and various scholarly articles

5 Personal Life Married Harold Morrison in 1958 Had two sons: Harold Ford and Slade Kevin Divorced in 1964 Raised her sons as a single mother Never remarried

6 Aims of Writing Strives to lay bare the injustice inherent in the black condition and blacks' efforts, individually and collectively, to transcend society's unjust boundaries Depicts the hurt inflicted by blacks on blacks to deprive readers of stock responses Believes language is expression of black experience

7 Song of Solomon Published in 1977 Most linear novel; also longest yet Won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977 First novel by a black writer to become a Book-of-the-Month Club selection since Richard Wright's Native Son was published in 1940

8 Major Themes Material wealth versus spiritual wealth Alienating effects of racism Flight versus fight Abandoned women Anaconda love versus real love Importance of community and family in the creation of an individual’s identity Supernatural/Magical Realism

9 Motifs and Symbols Motifs Names Singing Biblical Allusions Symbols Gold Artificial Roses Whiteness

10 Rooted in Experience Both her parents and grandparents harbored racist feelings toward white people Believed white people were genetically corrupt Guitar as composite character Represents the destroying effects of racism on the individual

11 Inspired by Experiences Grandfather’s land stolen from him by white land owners Jake (Macon Dead I) experiences are similar Also greatly influenced by the customs and beliefs of her cultural background Importance of community and the supernatural

12 Morrison and Milkman Transformed by a journey through the south, in which she came to terms with her heritage and ancestry Milkman must journey through the south to discover his heritage Morrison’s writing career did not begin until her 30s Milkman does not begin to really live until he is in his 30s

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