Culture and Identity in Literature Analytical Essay by BrainC

Culture and Identity in Literature
Examines themes of identity and family connections in works by Toni Morrison and Martha Cooley.
# 53238 | 1,730 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2004 | US

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Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon" and Martha Cooley's "The Archivist" explore the importance of connectedness, both to the individual and the larger culture. The paper shows how the main characters of each book struggle with the individual damage done by a failure to connect with others in their lives. It shows that, on a broader level, Morrison's Milkman struggles to find his place in a larger black culture and can only find connection and happiness once he discovers his connection to his familial and cultural roots. Similarly, Cooley's Judith is haunted by her family history, but without the help of family or her husband, Matthias, she can never find connection to her roots or reconcile her past. It is this failure to connect that ultimately leads to Judith's madness and destruction.

From the Paper:

"It is in the woods that Milkman finally finds an understanding of brotherhood, and finds a place for himself in the larger black community. As he leaves the woods he is "exhilarated by simply walking the earth. Walking like he belonged on it . . ." (Morrison, 281). His new connection is seen in his caring, mutually fulfilling interaction with a local woman named Sweet, and his understanding that his relationship with her is profoundly different than his earlier superficial relationships with the other women in his life. As he makes the bed and washes the breakfast dishes, Macon reflects on his relationship with his mother and Pilate, and that "he had never so much as made either of them a cup of tea" (Morrison, 331). As Milkman discovers his family's past, he discovers a connection to his peers and his larger community as a whole."

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Culture and Identity in Literature (2004, October 17) Retrieved December 14, 2019, from

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"Culture and Identity in Literature" 17 October 2004. Web. 14 December. 2019. <>