Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Georgene Bess Montgomery

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Prothro Wright

Abstract

This study examines Toni Morrison’s use of symbolism in Sula and The Bluest Eye, especially archetypal and color symbolism, in an effort to recover the culture that has been lost to Diasporic Africans. Moreover, the color symbolism and symbolic archetypes that Morrison employs in both novels, but to a greater extent Sula, are a direct reflection of her awareness of the African ancestral heritage and spirituality associated with those colors and archetypes. A vast majority of the literary critiques of Sula have focused on either Sula as a scapegoat for the community, Morrison’s use of race, gender, and sexual themes, or the characterizations throughout the novel. The literary criticism of The Bluest Eye has mainly focused on issues of race, class, and gender and the effects that these issues have upon black and white societies in America. Although these themes warrant the attention that has been given them, little or no focus has been given to the prevalence of color symbolism that Morrison employs in both novels. Therefore, this paper will attempt to provide a focus on color symbolism that has not been explored in other literary reviews.