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Writing Reality in Fiction

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Writing Reality in Fiction Toni Morrison s Song of Solomon Morrison s Childhood Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in 1931 Grew up in Lorain, Ohio Setting for many of her ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Writing Reality in Fiction


1
Writing Reality in Fiction
  • Toni Morrisons Song of Solomon

2
Morrisons 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 childrens 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 individuals 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
  • Grandfathers 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
  • Morrisons 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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