The Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Toni Morrison, is hailed as “the lastclassic American writer , a major figure of national literature , and simply thebest writer in America.” ” Morrison is at her complex and commanding best inthis mysterious tale, as she presents a unique perspective on American historyand leaves her dazzled readers shaking their heads over all that is perpetuallyinexplicable between men and women, rich and poor the tyrannical and freespirited.” The statements above are merely personal opinions and have yet tobe proven true.
After reading Toni Morrisons Paradise, I came to theconclusion that these remarks are over exaggerated. This is based on my opinionthat Paradise is not the writings of a Nobel Prize award winner and should notbe considered one of her best works. After all of the vivid descriptions of herwork, I can say that I was fairly disappointed. Paradise was the first and thelast of Toni Morrisons novels that I will read. After doing research intoothers analysis of the novel, I realized that I was not alone in my judgmentof Paradise. “I find myself troubled by this novel and how difficult it is tofollow. I dont mind reading slowly, in fact, I have no objection to taking mytime with anything; however, this is simply trying my patience.
I wanted to keepgoing because I had invested so much of my time into reading the novel, but Ifind myself making excuses for not reading it. I wish Ms. Morrison had thoughtabout the impact of making the reading so challenging and had eased up on usjust a little bit.
I am worn out from focusing on every word, but if I dont,then from one sentence to the next, I lose sight of a character, and then I amlost too! I just hope I can hang on long enough to get to the finish line,where, I know I will have to start all over again!” I think this is theuniversal thought that goes through most minds after attempting to readParadise. I am not saying that the whole novel was awful because it was not. Ithought the theme of the novel was incorporated well through out the novel.
Theproblems were with the organization of the story line, and the development ofthe characters. The opening sentences of Paradise were attention grabbers.”They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they can take there time. Noneed to hurry out here. They are seventeen miles between it and any other.
Hiding places will be plentiful in the Convent, but there time and the day hasjust begun.” The opening chapter is basically the climax of the plot. That is,a group of former law abiding male citizens attacks a group of unarmed women.This is what makes the story line confusing. That is, the beginning of the novelis the ending. Now the opening scene was good; but, instead of continuing fromthere, the story skips to the abandonment of Haven and the founding of Ruby. Theproblem was Ms.
Morrison choose to tell the story in flashbacks. The story keptgoing back and forth in time and in different characters point of views. This ishow the story began to lose me. Paradise focuses on the all black town ruraltown of Ruby and the families who reside there. There were nine originalfamilies who founded the town. They are the Morgan, Blackhorse, Poole,Fleetwood, Beauchamp, Flood, Cato, and the two DuPres families. The descendantsof the nine original families create a version of paradise, hence the title ofthe book. The nine original families encouraged marrying among themselves topreserve the 8-rock blood.
The 8-rocks were the pure blacks who did not have onedrop of white blood. These were the families with the dominance in Ruby. TheMorgans financed the founding of the town, owned the town bank and most ofthe land. Because of this, they felt they were the most influential and powerfulpeople in town.
The families were tight knit and did not react well tooutsiders. The other characters are the women of the Convent, a former Catholicfoster outside of Ruby that has become a refuge for five women seeking an escapefrom the despair, abuse and emptiness of their lives. They are Consoleta(Connie), Mavis, Grace (Gigi), Seneca, and Pallas. I thought these characterswere underdeveloped. As soon as