Negritude Plays a Prominent Role in Toni Morrison’s Novels: Analyzing The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon

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Yamini P, K Poornima Varalakshmi, Sreela B, Prema S, Aruna Arputhamalar, R. Kalyana Sundaram


The Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Toni Morrison, was a giant in the history of literary sphere. Her novels were one of a kind and her influence extended well beyond her words written in her books. Morrison’s mesmerizing and bold novels about black history and identity crisis helped many other authors to venture into this forbidden world with a straightforward gait. Morrison’s novels scream about the advance issues of civil rights and racial justice.

Morrison’s novels, such as The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon, elaborately describe the horrors and misconceptions that all dark-skinned individuals have to go through all their lives. In both these novels, we will see the protagonists breaking the stereotypical barriers to understand the aesthetics and beauty of their own culture. Pecola in The Bluest Eye is not at all concerned with the transformation of her black body to simply fall into the category of the white-skinned blue-eyed beauty. On the contrary, she is more interested in the process of perceiving beauty. According to her, that was the only way of bringing love to family. Similarly in the novel Song of Solomon, young black Milkman was interested in understanding his ancestor’s past and was keen to know more about the legend of the flying slaves who were able to go back to Africa.

In this article, I will explain the prominence of negritude which plays a significant role in Morrison’s two major novels—The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. I will also discuss about the existential crisis and the inferiority complex that the characters faced throughout the novels due to the stifling racism that engulfed the world during the times of the World War II.

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