Abstract/Details

“Most brought a little of both”: The “Bible” as intertext in Toni Morrison's vision of ancestry and community


2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

The aim of this dissertation is to explore how and why Toni Morrison employs biblical allusion, biblical names and entire books of the Bible both directly and ironically in order to emphasize the importance of ancestry and community in the lives of African-Americans. Morrison begins in Sula emphasizing the idea that communities that are not cohesive cannot survive. She challenges her readers to question how The Bottom community could have thrived if the people thought of it as more than just a place, but as a group of neighbors who help each other to live and grow. She continues in Song of Solomon with the emphasis not only on community but also on ancestry as identity. When Jake agrees to give up his name, he prevents his descendants from knowing or understanding from where they came. In not knowing their past, they are empty. She culminates her argument in Beloved where she fully emphasizes both community and ancestry with the incarnation of Beloved as the community of all slaves that have gone before. All three novels are heavily laden with biblical allusion that culminate in Morrison’s challenge for all not to forget and to let their history lead to a reclamation of ancestry and community.

Indexing (details)


Subject
American studies;
American literature
Classification
0323: American studies
0591: American literature
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Ancestry, Bible, Biblical intertextuality, Morrison, Toni
Title
“Most brought a little of both”: The “Bible” as intertext in Toni Morrison's vision of ancestry and community
Author
Mackie, Diane DeRosier
Number of pages
128
Publication year
2010
Degree date
2010
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781124320120
Advisor
Carlin, Deborah
Committee member
Berkman, Joyce A.; Skerrett, Joseph T.
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
English
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3427553
ProQuest document ID
815282089
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/815282089
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