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Jazz. Author: Toni Morrison By: Chelsea O. Jane Z. Whitley J. Jasmine W. Do Now: What are your first thoughts when you hear the word “ Jazz ”?. Born: Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio [1931-Great Depression] Nickname is Toni and Morrison is her ex husbands name.
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Jazz Author: Toni Morrison By: Chelsea O. Jane Z. Whitley J. Jasmine W.
Born: Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio [1931-Great Depression] Nickname is Toni and Morrison is her ex husbands name. Lived with her grandparents [sharecroppers]. In 1910 they left Alabama and moved North in hopes of a better life. 1949 - Morrison enrolled in Howard University to study English. Morrison received a B.A. in English from Howard in 1953, then earned a Masters degree in English, from Cornell University in 1955. 1958 - she married Harold Morrison. They had two children, Harold and Slade, and divorced in 1964. She wrote her first novel at the age of 30 and has completed 6 novels and a collection of essays and lectures. Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for Beloved and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the FIRST African American to win the Nobel Prize, first woman to win in 55 years and eighth woman to win since the Nobel Prize was created. Throughout her life she was a teacher, a textbook editor and an editor. Her writing targets the African American community and the hardships they face. She uses vivid dialogue and powerful characters to get across her dynamic themes. Toni Morrison
Dramatic Reading “Killing people.”Alice sucked her teeth. “Makes me sick to my stomach.” She pouredthe tea, then lifting the cup and saucer, held it back while she looked at Violet. “If you had found out about them before he killed her, would you have?” Alice handed her the tea. “I don’t understand women like you. Women with knives.” She snatched up a long-sleeved blouse and smoothed it over the ironing board. “I wasn’t born with a knife.” “No, but you picked one up.” “You never did?” Violet blew ripples into the tea. “No, I never did. Even when my husband ran off I never did that. And you. You didn’t even have a worthy enemy. Somebody worth killing. You picked up the knife to insult a dead girl.” “But that’s better ain’t it? The harm was already done.” “She wasn’t the enemy.” “Oh, yes she is. She’s my enemy. Then, when I didn’t know it, and now too.” “Why? Because she was young and pretty and took your husband away from you?” Violet sipped her tea and did not answer. After a long silence, and after their talk had turned to trifles then on to the narrowness of life, Violet said to Alice Manfred, “Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you fight for your man?” Seeded in childhood, watered every day since, fear had sprouted through her veins all her life. Thinking war thoughts it had gathered, blossomed into another thing. Now, as she looked at this woman, Alice heard her question like the pop of a toy gun.
“The customer flinched and the skin discolored right away. Violet moaned her apologies and the woman was satisfied until she discovered that the whole curl was singed clean off. Skin healed, but an empty spot in her hairline…Violet had to forgo payment to shut her up.” pg 108 Reader is able to create a vivid image of what’s happening in the scene. We understand both characters points of view’s. We are given many facts of an unimportant character in such a small passage. Details
“The walls were white with silver and turquoise draperies at the window. The furniture fabric was turquoise too. And the throw rugs the hostess rolled up and put in the spare bedroom were white.” pg 215 Morrison obviously explains the characters surroundings. Her descriptions use every thing possible. Imagery
“Women” answers Violet. “Woman wore me down. No man ever wore me down to nothing. It’s these little hungry girls acting like women. Not content with boys their own age, no, they want somebody old enough to be their father. Switching round with lipstick, see-through stockings dresses up to their you know what… pg.16 Morrison emphasizes the girls ages by calling them “hungry” She puts in descriptions that show the contrast between a “girl” and a “woman”. Woman use lipstick and see through stockings etc. Girls stick to little boys their own age. Her diction shows the anger in Violets words. We can tell she’s looking down on Dorcas’s actions. Diction
“I chose you. Nobody gave you to me. Nobody said that’s the one for you. I picked you out. Wrong time, yep, and doing wrong by my wife. But the picking out, choosing. Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose to it. I saw you and made up my mind. My mind.” Pg. 135 Morrison’s language in this dialogue allows the reader to feel the coldness of this quote. It’s something someone would say in real life. It makes the story all the more real because we can visualize the character actually saying it easily. Language
“When I look over strips of green grass lining the river, at church steepless and into the cream and copper halls of apartment buildings, I’m strong. Alone, yes, but top notch and indestructible – like the City in 1926 when all the wars are over and there will never be another one. The people down there in the shadow are happy about that. At last, at last, everything’s ahead. The smart ones say so and people listening to them and reading what they write down agree: Here comes the new. Look out. There goes the sad stuff. The bad stuff. The things-nobody-could help stuff. The way everybody was then and there. Forget that.” Morrison sets a tone in this passage based on the structure of her sentences. She is best known for her sentence variety. Has a mix of run on, short, long, medium sentences and unique sentence beginnings. Syntax
Alice waited this time, in the month of March, for the woman with the knife. The woman people called Violent now because she had tried to kill what lay in a coffin. She had left notes under Alice’s door everyday beginning in January – a week after the funeral – and Alice Manfred knew the kind of Negro that couple was: the kind she trained Dorcas away from. The embarrassing kind. More than unappealing, they were dangerous. The husband shot; the wife stabbed. Nothing. Nothing her niece did or tried could equal the violence done to her. And where there was violence wasn’t there also vice? Gambling. Cursing. A terrible and nasty closeness. Red dresses. Yellow shoes. And, of course, race music to urge them on. Pg.79 Morrison uses dashes to indicate a change in narration of the story . Her chapters are split by one blank sheet and the sentence from the chapter before is continued. Her sentence structure changes constantly. She uses long sentences, short sentences, etc. Shifts
ALWAYS REMEMBER! • When looking at DIDLSS for Morrison pay most attention to her language and use of shifts. • Her characters and story lines are mostly based on African American’s.