What is the literary function of the motherhood motif in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy?

Steve Monk

Abstract


This research paper examines the literary function of the motherhood motif in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy. The paper analyzes the presentation of the major characters in the novel and their relation to motherhood. A Mercy is a multi-layered, imagery-laden novel containing hidden themes and social commentary. Analyzation of the motherhood motif reveals the subtle societal comments Morrison makes in the novel. The complex motherhood motif fuels the characterization of two of the main characters in the novel, Jacob and Florens. In addition, its multi-perspective nature comments on the influence of stereotypes and discrimination in society.
The scope of the investigation includes the opinion of Toni Morrison critics and interviews with Morrison. Thus, my critical analysis can be synthesized with Morrison’s own opinion of her own works as well as the opinion of literary critics.

Keywords


motherhood; motif; Toni Morrison; A Mercy

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v9i0.3806

Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Jean and Alexander Heard Library System, and the Office of Innovation through Technology.