Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination Setting & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Playing in the Dark.
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The Words to Say It

"The Words to Say It" is written by Marie Cardinal, and Toni Morrison reads it in 1983. It is a documentation of Cardinal's madness, which takes the form of an anxiety attack of sorts. It is an autobiographical novel. This book leads Morrison to consider how blacks affect literature not written by or about them, causing her to start a file of such instances.

American Literature

A common assumption is that American literature is not shaped by the Africanist presence in the United States; however, Morrison shows that early American literature does reflect the Africanist presence though written by white males.

Africanist Presence

The Africanist presence in American literature is a reflection of the black population in the United States. This presence appears explicitly or implicitly in all American literature. Toni Morrison investigates this presence which she defines as the denotative and connotative blackness...

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This section contains 673 words
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Buy the Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination Study Guide
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