Tar Baby Summary
Toni Morrison

Everything you need to understand or teach Tar Baby by Toni Morrison.

  • Tar Baby Summary & Study Guide

Tar Baby Summary

At the core of Tar Baby, like most of Morrison's novels, is the need for African Americans to reconcile their African roots with their historically forced immersion in Euro-American culture. The apparent accommodation between the Streets' economic power and the reduction to an economic function of both island black people and the servant family explode under the force of the mysterious visitor, Son, who challenges everyone's assumptions about the Streets' economic authority and the compromises the two couples, Sydney and Ondine, on the one hand, and Therese and Gideon, on the other, have made to participate in the economic bonanza that flows from the white family's prosperity. As in many of her works, Morrison's chief thematic concerns deal with the characters' acceptance of their AfricanAmerican roots, as well as with the consequences of falling away from those origins.

At the extreme in "assimilation" to white culture is the...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Tar Baby Study Pack contains:

Tar Baby Short Guide

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