DOC [Paradise fitness] BY Toni Morrison – Book, Kindle ePUB or eBook Online

Toni Morrison Þ 4 Read

Kes clashes that have bedevilled American society between race and racelessness; patriarchy and matriarchy; religion and magic; freedom and belonging; promicuity and fidelity Magnificent in its scope PARADISE is a revelation in the intensity of its portrayal of human complexity and in the sheer force of its narrative. There are few authors that can make me feel as stupid as Morrison makes me feel time and time again This novel centers on a small community in rural Oklahoma founded as a safe place for black families that had faced prejudice and a former convent nearly 20 miles away that has become a refuge for broken women The stories of these women intertwine with the people of the town of Ruby As the women slowly heal their psychological wounds the town slowly experiences fractures and tension Finally the leading men of the town decide that these women who do not need men who flaunt their sexuality and possibly practice witchcraft is the cause of the town s problems Although they manage to destroy the community of women it is not clear if they destroy the individual women Of course this violent act does nothing to heal the town In this novel Morrison explores racial hierarchies the tension between patriarchal systems and feminism and group cohesion and the fear of the outsider I found this novel very difficult to follow Stories wove in and out of one another the focal point changing without any signal I know I missed 75% of what was really going on in this book

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Four young women are brutally attacked in a convent near an all black town in America in the mid 1970s The inevitability of this attack and the attempts to avert it lie at the heart of PARADISE Spanning the birth of the Civil Rights movement Vietnam the counter culture and the politics of the late 70s deftly manipula. The moment I wake up before I put on my makeup I say a little prayer for you but on that in a moment Reading this after reading The Bluest Eye is probably like reading Dubliners and then following it with Finnegans Wake Well maybe not uite I wouldn t know as I haven t read either one but this one is definitely much denser than The Bluest Eye and has a cast of characters as large as the Bible It s not something you read with the TV on in the background or while having a conversation with your spouseNot unmanageable and certainly not unenjoyable there s a wedding scene that is simply mesmerizing or should I say Divine hence the song from My Best Friend s Wedding you know where Julia Roberts sits annoyed and horrified as the whole family breaks into song I would compare it to one of those jigsaw puzzles where the main image on closer inspection is composed of hundreds of smaller images Despite it being divided into sections based on characters you don t get a single character s whole story in their section Just keep on reading

review Paradise

Ting past present and future this novel of mysterious motives reveals the interior lives of the citizens of the town with astonishing clarity The drama of its people from the four young women and their elderly protector to conservative businessmen rednecks a Civil Rights minister and veterans of three wars richly evo. Why is it that so often in life the very thing you re trying to avoid becomes you Why do the oppressed become the oppressor Why do the abused become the abuser Why do those who demand openness and euality become insular and elitist Why does the love that we strive so hard to obtain turn into a protective curse when we attempt to contain it vs allowing its empathy and compassion to extend to all These open ended uestions are only the tip of the iceberg in Toni Morrison s Paradise It is an incredible novel that incorporates many complex themes mind shattering symbolisms and an obvious personal investment of experience echoes of generations gone by and silent whisperings from history that we should heed and never repeatThe idea that a group from any oppressed race can run from their problems form their own society and live by their own rules contains within it the basic dangers inherent in utopian thinking So often it is not applicable or realistic according to the complexities of human nature In fact the idea that this utopia can be acuired affirms the thesis of the oppressed becoming the oppressor We can see this in modern society with the way the Israelis treat the Palestinians Or the way that America has chosen to repress and exploit the Third World and the various racialclasshomosexualreligiouspolitical groups at home Here we have victims creating new victimsand the cycle continues The real uestion is how do we break this cycle It is only through immense courage love empathy compassion and strength that we step up and say no I forgive you for what has happened to me and to make that forgiveness concrete in my own life I will strive to not become bitter and will do my best to not consciously or unconsciously pass it on to othersThe concept of Paradise in Toni Morrison s novel is akin to looking into an endless sea of mirrors It reflects back upon you over and over and over Its meanings can go on to infinity and those religious representations in the novel imply that Paradise can be infinity itselfFirst we have the town of Ruby It is an honest and at first noble idea of escaping exploitation Ah but here we have our first red flag These African Americans are descendants of a group that has set out from the post Reconstruction era in Louisiana and Mississippi to establish their own community void of whites or for that matter any inter racial mixing So the very idea of exclusion is there from the start This is what gets us into trouble While it is obvious that the group believed they were simply avoiding intense suffering there was a deep dark seed of hate that had been planted by the white man Now lest anyone come down on me I am not saying that this hatred has no reason for being there It would be uite impossible to be treated as chattel for centuries and not carry animosity I am only pointing out that this is one of the great tests of life and applies to any oppressed group How do you handle this situation within a history of racism experienced How do the Jews react to the Holocaust How do the Palestinians react to Jewish oppressionUnfortunately the citizens of Ruby handled it by attempting to keep their society untouched by contamination Contamination represents anything outside of their direct ancestors This incorporates skin color even as compared to other African Americans an unspoken but expected moral code a hierarchy in society that revolves around the founding families and the expectation of keeping the generations continuous through marriage within the community It revolves around purity in religion in dress in being a productive upstanding member of society and conseuently becomes patriarchal authoritarian repressive and a power struggleThis is where we can introduce the Convent to the story The book does it from the very beginning but that beginning is actually the end of the story Or is it the beginning of another beginning Is the symbolism involved in how the women of the Convent treated the attacking men of the town only the beginning of another cycle of repression Or to put it clearly are the women plotting revenge at the end of the story that will then turn them into the oppressors Again they would certainly be justified However what will it accomplish Only and violenceThe Convent is located about 17 miles outside of the town of Ruby It was originally the project of a white collar criminal but was taken over by a group of nuns who became yet another symbol of oppression The patriarchy that bleeds through the pages of Paradise is evident in the treatment of women by the Catholic Church The nuns of the Church have been programmed with this repression to such a degree that they in turn act as the patriarchs in this very convent It is an important point to understand because of the way that Connie is affected She believes that she needs this authority to survive Connie is the perfect example of the woman who has been pushed down by patriarchy and authoritarianism to the point where her thoughts are not her own She has not learned the process of discovering her own individuality but she will and doesA uick side note as I ve mentioned it before in my writing reviews but Morrison doesn t miss a beat with touching on what I refer to as the benefactor syndrome of missionary work The convent was set up to take the message of Christ to the Native Americans and wean them away from anything that was enjoyable in their lives It s the idea that we have it right you are the sinner so conform to our way of thinkingBut the Convent is to go through another evolution centralized around Connie After Mary Magna passes away Connie is all alone Mary Magna was the woman who rescued Connie from the poverty of being an orphan and she was who Connie lived for Connie never thought of the crucial process of discovery while Mary Magna was around because she never felt the need She never had to think for herself as long as she had the convent and the sisters She didn t realize that she was a prisoner It was only the ability to step inside that was introduced to her by Lone that not only symbolized empathy but allowed her to realize the importance of herself as her own person Yes this seeming display of supernatural power from Lone is symbolic of the power of Connie and the rest of the women she takes under her wing to realize their own potentialThese free thinking women are precisely what a threat to the utopia of Ruby is Women are a threat to this society because they stand in the way of progress Female babies can not carry on the holy family names of the town Female midwifes and child bearers stand between the successful births of healthy baby boys To the men of the town this is everything Without the ability to continue the utopia the dream dies Any woman who is able to amass too much power is a clear threat to their authoritarianism What if she doesn t want to bear children What if the 8 rock women gain so much power that they refuse to marry the men of the community and instead go outside and inter marry with othersAll their dreams all their fears their purpose for living the very idea of the town of Ruby the outside threats the unsubmissive women the impurity the non conformity the strangeness of the other is all wrapped up in the women who have taken residence with Connie in the Convent This is why they must be stopped This is where the idea of purity and a way of life become important than love and acceptance This is the culmination of our narrative The formerly oppressed the citizens of Ruby have made the transformation into the oppressors The woman has become the victimIt is perhaps no mistake that our story revolves around the Civil Rights era For it is in this very movement that the fight for euality in the black community became patriarchal The idea of freedom for the race did not incorporate the eually important drive for women s rights That fight would have to come later It is symbolic and central to Morrison s novel that the women are left out of purifying the town of Ruby What the men have to say and how they plan to execute their actions is no place for a woman s involvement In this we can see the warning from Morrison that any fight for euality can become repressive in and of itselfThis idea of Paradise therefore involves many different elements to Morrison and our characters Freedom is one common thread Self determination is another The ability to escape is a third However what many of our characters struggle to grasp is the all consuming love that is so important for Paradise to become a reality Through the lens of love everything becomes clear One s vision of a Higher Power yet anther Paradise theme is all about how love is incorporated Without love our world falls apart Love and its corollary euality is about embracing the differences we see in the other This can not be accomplished by a dogmatic adherence to principle purity or structure It is not done by taking sides It is searching for the common ground that makes us all humanIn the end the road to Paradise is narrow However it is not a narrow experience or way of thinking It is simple yet complex much like Morrison s novel Love is never easy but in the end it is all we have Love is meaning our very existence the essence of what we describe as God and the only way to Paradise

10 thoughts on “Paradise

  1. says:

    Sometimes you have to hold up your hands as a reader and admit maybe you didn’t do a book justice I found Paradise really difficult to follow Mainly this is due to there being no central character The central character instead is a town called Ruby where only blacks live and are free of white legislation and a nearby building k

  2. says:

    They shoot the white girl first but the rest they can take their time No need to hurry out here They are 17 miles from a town which has 90 miles between it and any other Hiding places will be plentiful in the convent but there is time and the day has just begun They are nine Over twice the number of the women they are ob

  3. says:

    The moment I wake up before I put on my makeup I say a little prayer for you but on that in a moment Reading this

  4. says:

    Why is it that so often in life the very thing you’re trying to avoid becomes you? Why do the oppressed become the oppressor? Why do the abus

  5. says:

    This is the most complex book I have read from Toni Morrison It is the story of a black community called Ruby in rural Oklahoma in the 70s and

  6. says:

    I swear it's the most fulfilling when you read an author and you have ambiguous feelings towards them and their writing But being an unbiased fair desperately enthusiastic reader; you come back to give it a second try and it will be

  7. says:

    Paradise is one of my favourite words I believe it came first from an ancient word in Farsi that means only a park which says something about the Iranian idea of a park perhaps I think paradise is a place of welcome and peace and love and in this book I think that is what the founders of the town Ruby wanted to create at a safe distance from racism and related violence vertical and horizontalBut the folks in

  8. says:

    Paradise was not well received upon its publication in 1997—influential critics like Michiko Kakutani James Wood and Zoë

  9. says:

    There are few authors that can make me feel as stupid as Morrison makes me feel time and time again This novel centers on a small community in rural Oklahoma founded as a safe place for black families that had faced prejudice and a former convent nearly 20 miles away that has become a refuge for broken women The stories of these women intertwine with the people of the town of Ruby As the women slowly heal their psychological wounds the town

  10. says:

    Why did I read this book before reading Beloved and Jazz when it is supposed to complete the trilogy? I'm bummed by that I couldn't help it I found the book on my shelf and decided to read it along with The Bluest Eye Then there I was reading it and thinking why was this book not titled “Beware the Furrow of His Brow”

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