The American Of A Blind Old Woman

1177 Words Sep 12th, 2016 5 Pages
Overall, the American themes in this speech are undeniable. For one thing, Morrison’s most important character, a blind old woman, is stated outright to be American. Not only that, she is the widely respected child of slaves, so she is very deeply tied into both the good and bad of America’s past (Morrison). She also alludes numerous times to American history and culture, especially in the conclusion of her speech, which comes in the form of a rapid succession of powerful images. The last of these is of a wagonload of slaves three years before the Civil War, whose lives are saved from a frigid winter (however momentarily) by the kindness of two youths (Morrison). Not only is this clearly tied into American history, it also contains the distinctly American values of hope in the face of death, like the colonists had against the crushing odds of the Revolutionary War, and unity in spire of differences— after all, the children are most likely white considering they had just exited an inn the slaves wouldn’t have been allowed into— that would eventually lead to the passage of every Civil Rights law in the nation’s history (Morrison). Morrison uses an allegory to the Tower of Babel, saying that if the builders of the Tower had simply learned to communicate with one another, they would not have had to seek heaven because they would have already reached it (Morrison). This interpretation of the Tower of Babel is especially meaningful in the context of America, which lives up to its…
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