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A Demonic Parody: Toni Morrison’s A Mercy

A Demonic Parody: Toni Morrison’s A Mercy A Demonic Parody: Toni Morrison's A Mercy By Geneva Cobb Moore One of Toni Morrison's feminist critics describes her novel Paradise as a sermon, writing that the Nobel laureate "sermonizes on the dangers of a violent manhood that depends on the demonization of women and the exclusion of difference for validation" (Keller 47). But an appropriate rejoinder is that all of Morrison's novels are literary sermons. Recall, for example, her interview with Charles Ruas, in which she confesses that "the Bible wasn't part of my reading; it was part of my life" (81), providing a prism through which readers can observe her descriptions of the (im)moral consequences of unchecked power and human behavior. As novelist, Morrison treats the historical black experience in novels from The Bluest Eye to Beloved, Paradise, and Love as an often emotionally challenging and socially disfiguring bodily enterprise, largely based on the slavery of race and color, but also on class and gender politics. She mirrors and highlights, in her appropriation of parody, history's attempt to shape the lives of black Americans, a shaping and devaluation that her powerful characters, particularly her maternal heroines, resist while nurturing others. The first black American to win http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

A Demonic Parody: Toni Morrison’s A Mercy

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 44 (1) – Feb 17, 2011

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English .
ISSN
1534-1461
Publisher site
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Abstract

A Demonic Parody: Toni Morrison's A Mercy By Geneva Cobb Moore One of Toni Morrison's feminist critics describes her novel Paradise as a sermon, writing that the Nobel laureate "sermonizes on the dangers of a violent manhood that depends on the demonization of women and the exclusion of difference for validation" (Keller 47). But an appropriate rejoinder is that all of Morrison's novels are literary sermons. Recall, for example, her interview with Charles Ruas, in which she confesses that "the Bible wasn't part of my reading; it was part of my life" (81), providing a prism through which readers can observe her descriptions of the (im)moral consequences of unchecked power and human behavior. As novelist, Morrison treats the historical black experience in novels from The Bluest Eye to Beloved, Paradise, and Love as an often emotionally challenging and socially disfiguring bodily enterprise, largely based on the slavery of race and color, but also on class and gender politics. She mirrors and highlights, in her appropriation of parody, history's attempt to shape the lives of black Americans, a shaping and devaluation that her powerful characters, particularly her maternal heroines, resist while nurturing others. The first black American to win

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 17, 2011

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