Toni Morisson

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Toni Morisson’s “Tar Baby” Essay, Research Paper It is often said that it is better to follow your heart instead of your mind because it will never lie to you. However, when you follow your heart you are not always prepared for what the outcome may be. This is proven in Toni Morisson’s novel Tar Baby . Tar Baby is Morrison’s fourth novel and it took three and a half years to write . The story was based on an old African American folk tale about Brer Rabbit and Tar Baby. This book is said by some to be an excess of what made Morrison’s other books good but despite the criticism the book still made it to the best seller’s list. The story takes place on an isolated island of L’Arbe de la Croix. this was purposely done by Morrison so that the characters would have

no way to escape. There were no immediate policemen to call and no neighbors to interfere in the story . The characters were placed in a cage and left to see what would happen. L’ Arbe de la Croix is the vacation home of Valerian Street a retired candy maker and his wife Margaret Street. The house is also occupied by a black couple, Sydney and Odine, who have been the long time servants of the Street’s. During the time of the story the house is also occupied by Jadine, who is Sydney’s and Odine’s niece. Jadine was took in by the Streets and they paid for her to go to school and become a model. Jadine came down from Paris to contemplate a marriage proposal from a Frenchman and to spend Christmas with her aunt and uncle. Jadine can be considered the tar baby in this story.

She was taken in by the Street’s and opened up to the world that they lived in. She got a wonderful education and traveled all over. She had a sense of security and knew that anything she needed would be given to her by the streets. The streets get another unexpected guest during Christmas. One night when Margaret is up in her room she opens her closet and sees a strange black man sitting there. She becomes hysterical and runs down the stairs in a panic. Sydney goes upstairs and brings down the intruder everyone in the house is startled by his appearance and ready to call the police. Everyone except Valerian. He invites the intruder to sit down for a drink and this makes Margaret crazy. She runs up to her room and locks herself in her bedroom. We later find out that the

intruder is the same man that we encounter in the beginning of the novel on the boat. The intruder has many names but asks to be called Son. Son Green. Son is the cause of a lot of trouble and he brings out the true side of the characters of this story. After dinner Son is invited to stay for the night in one of the guest rooms. This makes Sydney angry. He could not understand how Valerian could be so calm in such a situation but despite his anger Sydney does what he is told. The next morning Son come into Jadine’s room, this is their first personal encounter. Jadine is absolutely repulsed by his looks but she is kind to him and they start to talk, the conversation takes a turn for the worse. After making an insulting comment about Jadine he grabs her, presses his body against

hers, and starts to smell her. This makes Jadine feel dirty. She finally breaks loose from his grasp and runs to tell Valerian. On her way to Valerian she stops and starts to think about whether she should go and tell or not. After much thought she decides not to, but also promises herself that she would try to avoid him to the best of her ability. That same day Valerian suggests that Son go to the main island with one of the workers to get some clothes and a hair cut. He comes back the next day and sees Jadine. At first she is amazed by his appearance she could not believe that he was the same guy who she encountered the privies day. Her amazement was not long lasting her memories of the day before quickly came back to her. Son apologized for his behavior but Jadine does not