Paul D. Challenging the View that Morrison is a Feminist Writer

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Does the character of Paul D challenge the view that Morrison is a feminist writer? Paul D is a character who has suffered tremendously at the hands of slavery. His brutal ordeals as part of the chain gang show how much this has affected him. This is designed to create pathos for the character and this pathos is heightened when he is portrayed as a strong yet kind character, a ‘gentle giant.’ He is also proud of his masculinity and values a sense of autonomy when he is allowed one. This suggests that his character does challenge the view that Morrison is a feminist writer. Alternatively, the character of Paul D could be viewed as a weak one. His strength at times is portrayed as negative and his “manly” thoughts mean that he…show more content…
Finally, he is proud of his masculinity under Mr Garner at Sweet Home and decides “that was where his manhood lay” showing that he values the sense of autonomy given to him by Mr Garner. This challenges again, the view that Morrison was a feminist writer. Another way in which Paul D’s character challenges the view that Morrison is a feminist writer is in his kind nature. In the opening chapter he is shown to be “the kind of man who could make a woman cry” He is immediately shown as a man who can relate to the feelings of women, and as a kind and caring person who women can open up to. This is highlighted by the fact that “there was something blessed in his manner.” The word “blessed” here brings religious connotations which associate Paul D with being a healer or someone who will listen to the problems of others and help solve them. It elevates him to the point where is suggests male superiority, thus challenging the view that Morrison is a feminist writer. When he arrives at 124, he takes Sethe and Denver out to the festival. Sethe realises when they are walking that “they were not holding hands, but their shadows were.” This could suggest, had it not been up heaved by the arrival of Beloved, that the coming of Paul D could unify 124 and could finally make it a positive environment. It is also shown that Paul D is positive in the sense that he says “howdy to everyone within twenty feet.”

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