Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Robert Higney


Fabulism, Magical Realism, Paradox, African traditions, Myth


This paper will analyze how Toni Morrison blends surrealistic elements into the recognized realism of her text by crafting various paradoxes within her work. Using three of Morrison’s books: Sula, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, I will examine how each book ties a specific surrealistic component, as well as an equally relevant realistic element that will aid in the construct of a figurative bridge between the cultural past and present for African Americans. Moreover, I will discuss how the use of the surreal in Morrison’s work represents a dive into African traditions. Formed as a direct result of slavery, she aims to subvert the past and present “cultural imprisonment” of African Americans by linking the surreal traditions of the past with the real events of the present.



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