Toni Morrison Essay Research Paper Toni MorrisonToni

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Toni Morrison Essay, Research Paper Toni Morrison Toni Morrison?s cultural heritage continues to shape her life and writing. On February 18th, 1931 (Shockley 112), baby Chloe Anthony Wofford was born in Lorain, Ohio to Ramah Willis Wofford and George Wofford, a shipyard welder (Draper 1422). Chloe?s grandparents lived with her family (Showalter 320). Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, Chloe?s family stayed close-knit and supported one another (?Morrison? Encarta). After graduating from Lorain High School in 1949, Chloe left for the then all-black Howard University (Gray b). While at Howard University she decided to change her name to Toni because Chloe was too hard for some people to pronounce (Draper 1422). From there she moved on to Cornell where she studied English

and in 1955 received her master?s degree. (Gray b). Toni returned to Howard University in 1957 to teach English. While teaching at Howard she met a Jamaican architect named Harold Morrison. They married, had two sons, Harold Ford and Slade Kevin, then divorced in 1964 (Draper 1422). Morrison moved her sons to Syracuse, New York where she became an editor at Random House and began writing novels (Gray b). Her novels have won and continue to win many awards, the most prestigious being the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature (Caldwell 1). Since then Morrison started teaching at Princeton University in New Jersey and continues to write (MacDonald 4). Morrison?s novels are influenced by her rich cultural heritage, family, and passion for education. The novel Sula is a direct product of

Morrison?s cultural heritage. As an African American woman who grew up in a culturally rich family Morrison brings culture to her characters and community in Sula. She brings more than just the culture of African Americans, but she also brings the culture of everyone else in American society. These cultural aspects found in Sula are not always obvious; sometimes it simply appears as an issue of what is right and what is wrong. In the Bottom they used Sula as an example of ?wrong.? No matter how sinful the citizens of Medallion became Sula remained a woman more ?sinful? than any of them. She made them more comfortable with themselves with her lack of morals. When the word got out about Eva being put in Sunnydale, the people in the Bottom shook their heads and said Sula was a

roach. Later, when they saw how she took Jude, then ditched him for others, and heard how he bought a bus ticket to Detroit (where he bought but never mailed birthday cards to his two sons), they forgot all about Hannah?s easy ways (or their own) and said that she was a b—-. Everybody remembered the plague of robins that announced her return, and the tale about her watching Hannah burn was stirred up again (Morrison 112). This sort of behavior is part human nature. Society likes to find people in situations worse than their own, but as Morrison said, ?One person cannot raise a child? (?World? Essence). Sula was a product of Medallion. They created her. Morrison?s cultural influences constantly impact her writing. Morrison?s writing is greatly influenced by her family. Her

grandparents shared their ?jokes, lore, music, language, and myths of African American culture? with Morrison when she was a young girl (Showalter 320). Her mother, a homemaker, believed strongly in equal rights for her four children (MacDonald 4). Her father, George, was very racist. Commenting on her father?s perception of white people, Morrison said, ?He simply felt that he was better, superior to all white people…You know he didn?t let white people in the house? (Draper 1422). George ?felt there was probably no chance for racial harmony to prevail…? and ?He preferred his children to have nothing to do with whites? (MacDonald 4). In Sula, when Shadrack finds himself in a ?small bed? after his injury and analyzes the meal before him. He notices ?…the lumpy whiteness of