How to Read Literature Like a Professor

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Toni Morrison Character Analysis

Toni Morrison is an American writer born in Lorain, Ohio in 1931. She has written 11 novels in addition to work in other genres; her most famous novels include The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, and Beloved. Her work explores themes of race, gender, and American history. In 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, making her the first African-American woman to receive the honor. She is considered by many to be one of the most important living writers. Foster refers to Morrison’s work more frequently than perhaps any other writer, a fact that indicates the extent of her influence. As Foster points out, Morrison’s work provides a great example of the way that literature can fuse multiple cultural traditions, such as Christianity and African American myth.
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Toni Morrison Character Timeline in How to Read Literature Like a Professor

The timeline below shows where the character Toni Morrison appears in How to Read Literature Like a Professor. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: …Or the Bible
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Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) tells the story of Sethe, an escaped slave who is discovered by four... (full context)
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...it can also highlight how naming works within the world of the novel. In Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1977) the central family names its children by randomly picking words from... (full context)
Chapter 8: It’s Greek to Me
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...incorrectly assume contemporary literature is based on them. This is true, for example, of Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1977), which contains flying people that are based on the “flying African”... (full context)
Chapter 9: It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow
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...or restorative effect on characters. It can “wash away” illusions, as happens to Hagar in Morrison’s Song of Solomon. Sometimes, writers toy with the conflicting meanings of rain—on one level it... (full context)
Chapter 11: …More Than It’s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence
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Foster returns to Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Although the novel focuses on one act of violence in particular (Sethe’s murder of... (full context)
Chapter 15: Flights of Fancy
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...a recent invention, humans have fantasized about flying for thousands of years. Returning to Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Foster suggests that the “flying African” myth represents the desire for freedom... (full context)
Chapter 18: If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism
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In Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Milkman gets wet three times, an allusion to the form of Christian... (full context)