Black People

2722 WordsMay 9, 201311 Pages
Tar Baby by Toni Morrison 7. What is the symbolic function of the African woman who spits at Jadine? Tar Baby Toni Morrison’s novel might for some be a novel of cultural awakening. One also might at their first reading and perhaps also by reading the different studies made on Tar Baby, restricted to an interpretation that sees Jadine, Morrison’s protagonist, as woman who has, consciously or unconsciously, lost her “ancient properties” (305) and internalized the values of a white culture. Jadine has totally disconnected herself from her racial identity and cultural heritage. This reading is supported by the fact that Jadine has got her education in Europe with the financial assistance of Valerian Street (her aunt’s and uncle’s…show more content…
Jadine refute Ondine’s views of black womanhood when she tells her some of the things that are expected of her from society Jadine tells Ondine that: “I don’t want to learn how to be the kind of woman you’re talking about because I don’t want to be that kind of woman” (282). This, according to Rayson (1998), might be interpreted as Jadine’s “rejecting the roles of mother, daughter, and woman to stay the tar baby” (Rayson, 95), however it marks her becoming aware of what kind of woman she is by the end of the novel. Jadine‘s inclination toward upward social mobility leads to her separation from the Afro-American roots and the tar quality that Morrison advocates. This kind of flaw in Jadine effectively disqualifies her as a black woman capable of nurturing a family and by large the community. Jadine‘s perception of an ancestral relationship from which she is estranged occurs when she sees an African woman in a Parisian bakery. When she is celebrating her success as model evidenced in her appearance on the cover of Elle, Jadine becomes nervous or perhaps uncomfortable by the African woman in yellow attire. She triggers an identity crisis in Jadine at the moment when she should have felt more secure with her professional achievement assured by beauty and education. In his African woman, Jadine catches a glimpse of beauty, a womanliness, an innate elegance, a nurturer, an
Open Document