Elizabeth Alexander Writing Styles in The Toni Morrison Dreams

Elizabeth Alexander
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Literary Allusion

Alexander uses literary allusion in her poem "The Toni Morrison Dreams" by making reference to other literary works. In the second part of the poem, one of the strategies Morrison suggests is to adapt the 1907 play Playboy of the Western World to a contemporary stage. The assumption is that the workshop participants know this work by the late-nineteenth-century Irish playwright, John Millington Synge. The play is about a son's rebellion against his father and the way in which the son is evaluated by others. In order to try out Morrison's strategy, the participants have to know the play. Morrison also asks participants to translate The Birds, a comedy by Aristophanes, which would require them to know Greek.

Characterization

"The Toni Morrison Dreams" characterizes two women: the novelist Toni Morrison and the speaker who is an aspiring writer and a new mother. Morrison is particular about her coffee...

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This section contains 353 words
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Poetry for Students
The Toni Morrison Dreams from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.