Sexuality in Toni Morrison’s works
AuthorHolm, Birgit Kristine Aas
Toni Morrison’s narratives explore a wide range of interrelated topics such as gender, love, race, abuse and oppression. Morrison’s three novels Sula, The Bluest Eye and Love all inquire into how individuals, and especially women and children, are affected by the patriarchal and sexist attitudes which pervade African American communities. In my thesis I want to explore how Morrison portrays sexuality as a means of power in human relations, particularly in the thematic contexts of gender, oppression and love, as reflected in her novels Sula, The Bluest Eye and Love respectively. The many deviant expressions of sexuality that Morrison depicts include violent and even sadistic behaviour, and her inquiries into such dark aspects of human behaviour help disclose the many ways in which sexuality is an expression of abuse of power. I will argue how Morrison uses sexuality as a means of illustrating how a sick society breeds sick individuals. The many examples of how the novels’ characters become damaged for life when deprived of healthy love and exposed to thwarted male sexuality are important in my argumentation. Sula, The Bluest Eye and Love all demonstrate in different ways how growing up in such destructive environments ruin the lives of women and children – marking them for life – and consequently their relationships.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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