Toni Morrison Writing Styles in Jazz

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Point of View

Jazz is written in the third person past tense, with an omniscient narrator. The point of view changes from chapter to chapter, shifting from Joe, Alice Manfred, Violet, and Golden Grey, to Felice and back. It is this shifting perspective that lends the story its framework and depth. Each person's perceptions deepen the reader's understanding. By the end of the story, the simple facts outlined in the opening sentences have been strengthened and transformed into a complex web.

Setting

Jazz is set in Harlem in the 1920s. The narrator's lush descriptions evoke the setting as unlike any other place on earth. Harlem is a refuge for black people inside a large, hostile city. Yet, it is relentlessly violent and highly exploitative. Like the landscape of eighteenth century novels, the interdependent black community in Harlem becomes a character in the novel.

Language and Meaning Morrison's language is...

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This section contains 459 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Jazz Study Guide
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