Literary Precedents for Tar Baby

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Tar Baby.
This section contains 400 words
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Tar Baby is a breakthrough novel for its author, summarizing her concern with accepting ancestral heritage by African Americans, as this theme announced itself in The Bluest Eye. Like that novel, Morrison works with a variety of perspectives, moving confidently and subtly around her subject while never falling into the trap of direct polemic.

Like Sula, the novel positions competing responses to the pressure to conform to and assimilate European-American culture by the descendants of slaves, and the novels feature a character whom we both admire and mistrust. Sula Pierce and Son are ruthless killers. But Morrison insists that we respect the autonomy of their positions, the degree to which their stubbornness poses a criticism of the compromises other characters make. The emphasis on spirits, animated nature, the swamp women, the women who people Jade's vision, and the ghosts of blind slaves looks backward toward the presence of...

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This section contains 400 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Tar Baby Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Tar Baby from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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