Toni Morrison: Changing The Game
Author Toni Morrison shaped the culture of writing in three main areas; she garnered attention and award of the Nobel Prize society, she captured minds of reading audiences in a way that other black authors had not, and she gave a voice to difficult subject matters that has been followed by modern authors. The following from one of her novels gives good example of her journey; “You can't do it all. You a woman and a colored woman at that. You can't act like a man. You can't be walking around all independent-like, doing whatever you like, taking whatever you want, leaving what you don't.” (Sula pg.9) This passage tells us some things about both men and women. We learn that Sula is doubly oppressed because she is a woman of color. Many of these narrow-mined ideas about women were carried over into the society of Nobel Prize winners. Back in the fifties and into the sixties, women weren’t business professionals or serious artists, so many women writers weren’t taken seriously. Women writers were seen as writers of cookbooks and “how to’s” for the home. Toni Morrison was the eighth woman and first black woman to break through the norm of accomplishing something bigger than recognition for romance novels. The Nobel Prize was primarily awarded to people for their great works in chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, literature and peace work, and very few of those people were women. To date, only 43 women have been awarded a Nobel Prize, out of 862 people and organizations who have been named laureates. (A total of 44 prizes have been awarded to women: Marie Curie won twice.) Part of the reason for this is that three of the prizes are for science, and the sciences have not always been friendly to women (npr.org). Morrison wrote in the seventies when women were better respected and noticed for their intelligence. She wrote gruesome stories that told the true lives and feelings of black men and women in the late fifties and...
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