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The Effects Of Afro-American Folk Tradition In The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

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In her first novel, The Bluest Eyes, Toni Morrison explores the destructive effects of racial prejudice upon Afro-Americans. It also projects the Afro-American folk culture in process. From folk culture to the blues, from folk speech to myths and other beliefs, Lorain, Ohio, shares with historical black folk communities patterns of survival and coping tradition that comfort in times of loss, and beliefs that point to an enduring creativity. This assignment will focus on reconnecting fragments of Afro-American folk tradition in The Bluest Eye. The black population of Lorain, Ohio, participates in traditions that foster black survival, comfort in times of need, and enduring creativity. Against this grain, Pauline and Cholly Breedlove erroneously accept the myth of the north as a place where blacks become socially and economically free. As a result they lose their abilities to use the old folk forms that sustained generations of rural blacks, and thus they broke chains of continuity in black culture. The Breedloves…show more content…
When such caring disappears, disastrous results ensue. Thus, Morrison offers a part of the pattern of black interaction that sustains against the dissolution represented by Pauline’s refusal to mother her children, Geraldine’s distortion of the notion of family and Cholly’s destructive abuse of his daughter. The description of M’Dear is a reminiscent of historical folk communities. M’Dear “was a quiet woman who lived in a shack near the woods” (108), is usually called in when all the “ordinary means” of curing illness have failed. She advices Aunt Jimmy to “drink pot liquor and nothing else” (108). M’Dear’s ties to the community, despite her seeming outsider status, provide another contrast to Pecola, who, severed from those traditions that could incorporate her, merely remains outside the bonds of
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