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Essay On Son And Jadine

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Son, like Paul D, searches for meaning in himself, but his search is impeded by meeting a beautiful light-skinned black model named Jadine. He struggles to balance his love for Jadine with his hunger for self-discovery, and the two goals contradict each other. He meets her on Isle des Chevaliers, but he connects with the slaves who worked on the island before he even meets her. As he approaches the island, “He could see very little of the land … he was gazing at the shore of an island that, three hundred years ago, had struck slaves blind the moment they saw it” (Morrison 8). The narrator’s comparison of Son to the slaves is one that illustrates his connection to his black roots and his desire to learn more about them. He is not struck…show more content…
The comparison of his presence in her room to an “animal smell” indicates that Son is somewhere he shouldn’t be, as though he is an animal that has accidentally found its way into a human’s home. His attempt to inject Jadine with his views of traditional black life through use of “the dream he had placed there” fails to break her fascination with European culture. Jadine’s view of herself epitomizes the disparity between their views. Jadine offers up the word “nigger” for a white woman to use when the woman recounts the moment she sees Son hiding in her closet, but the woman instead calls him a “gorilla.” Jadine feels sympathy for Son when the woman calls him this, but shields herself from guilt by rationalizing that “She had volunteered nigger—but not gorilla” (Morrison 129). In suggesting “nigger” to describe Son, Jadine disavows her blackness and shows how she doesn’t consider herself black. The fact that Son has dark skin is enough for her to not consider herself the same as him. Her shock at the use of “gorilla” proves she is not completely aloof from the fact she is black, but she cannot connect with Son because she considers herself more white than black. His failure to realize this dark truth derails his goals, and his ability to leave her becomes weaker the longer he stays with her. Son’s love for Jadine prevents him from leaving her to fully follow his path to understand his ancestral history. The two fight more as they spend more time
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