Toni Morrison is an American editor, teacher and author of Race Studies, literature and fiction books. She is also a professor emeritus at the Princeton University credited for her in-depth knowledge and teaching of African American culture. Having grown through an error of racism, she has adequate information to give life to her novels.
Morrison was awarded The Pulitzer Prize and also The American Book Award in 1988 for her books. In 1993 she received The Nobel Prize in literature as a result of her contribution to literature in her writing. Later on, in 2012, she received The Presidential Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. Toni has authored many novels, and a series, the trilogy which details her writing career.
Beloved introduces her series, the Toni Morrison Trilogy. The story brings out the practices experienced during slavery and into one great entertaining piece.
Seethe is born during the slavery period, but she escapes off to Ohio in the quest to free herself of the chains of slavery and start a new and free life. She, however, has not overcome the memories of her days in slavery way long after her escape. She has a new home but still troubled by the ghost of her child who died, and all she has is her tombstone with a name Beloved engraved on it. Seethe is trying to deal with a bunch of dark, horrific memories that characterized not only her child life but her adult life creating an unforgettable trauma. She desires to move away from away from these memories, but she is trapped in them despite being free from this mess. The former slaves have removed the shackles of slavery but still feel tied to a past that is haunting and horrific making progress almost impossible. Though there is a lot of racial prejudice affecting the characters, they still try to move past this and create a new life for them and their future generations. Pain is something that keeps permeating from the characters from the sad experiences which is seen from how Morrison honestly describes the happenings of the novel. It mirrors the error after the ex-slaves got their freedom and are trying to live a free life encountering conflicting lives from that they were used to when working in their masters’ places.
Toni has an eloquent prose that deals with the past and the present to show the reader the effects of being stuck in the past and the consequences it does bring about. She also includes poetry to emphasize the themes she intends to communicate.
Jazz comes is the second novel in the Toni Morrison Trilogy Series. Love can be daunting, sweet and sometimes really painful and this is clearly brought out in this story.
Joe Trace is a door to door salesperson for Cleopatra beauty products. He shoots his teenage lover creating a chain of painful things in the story. Everyone else around is having fun as it is during the Christmas period but for Joe, everything else is entirely different and rather painful and sad. Joe had never been deep in love until he finds, but it is not as he thinks as things turn sour for him prompting him to kill her out of jealousy. While all this is happening, Joe’s half-mad wife, violet is observing things from a distance, and once the hammer falls, she seems the most affected by the entire thing. The story reflects on the internal conflicts that are happening for most of the ex-slaves who are trying to fit into a society that earlier on held them in shackles. The emotional journey for joe and violet as they move out to search for love is a touching one moving back and forth in time to give the reader a comprehension of things.
Toni brings the element of guilt and afterthought seen from violet and joe where Violet is trying to correct her embarrassing action while Joe is trying to mend their relationship. Love, cheating, guilt, and hate are some themes depicting a society that is still trying to find an identity.
Toni Morrison’s style of writing is one that is uniquely crafted to suit any reader from her infusion of different themes, characters, and settings to come up with a remarkable story. It’s emotional as the characters go through pain, love, romance, and guilt for their actions.
Paradise closes the Toni Morrison Trilogy Series. Two societies are in conflict as they try to come up with a way of life that is different from the rest in the quest for an identity after many years of oppression under slavery. The themes of gender, violence, trauma, faith, and history are clearly seen in this story.
Ruby is constructed as paradise away from the world focusing on safety and creation of unique identity for its members. A group of the citizens identify this as a center of moral decay which only has its solution as a total rededication to root out the evil that has gripped the town. Though the motive is good at first, it later turns out to be a collection of evil and treacherous group of women. While they are trying to run away from one evil they find themselves trapped in the same thing and worse of al hurting their own people.
Greed, lust for power and the intolerance to change make change an almost impossible thing for the town people which in turn create a series of treasures and sad moments for the citizens. The women find their solace in a covenant outside of ruby on being terrorized by the fearful men of ruby. Power has turned those that previously thought themselves to be incorruptible which generates conflict between those who want positive change and those who want to hold things intact.
Toni Morrison is excellent in her description of characters and setting of events to bring out the themes of love, malice, rejection, and politics. Her flow is one that is excellent making it a smooth read.
Books in order of publication:
|The Bluest Eye||(1969)|
|Song of Solomon||(1977)|
|God Help the Child||(2015)|