, Research Paper
Racism Related to the Novel Jazz
In the novel Jazz, written by Toni Morrison, racism was a strong issue that was presented in the novel. The novel relayed the issue of racism to its beginnings and to how it is today. Although, at that time black males regaurded jazz as the essence of the Harlem Renaissance, the age of the New Negro, for many black women it represented the disenchantment of urban life. The age that emphasized reacial pride and equality but often overshadowed black women s equality. In the novel, examples from Joe and Violet s encounters with racism can be compared to Toni Morrison s dealings, how and when racism got its start, and how it is today.
In Jazz, Joe and violet were intially dazzeled by the prospect of life in New York, the center of the age of the New Negro. They were people enthalled, the decived in Jazz, by the music. The images of the music were encompased in the young girl Dorcss, whom Joe fell in love with despite his attachement to Violet. The story opens with Dorcas s funeral, where Violet had tried to slash the poor dead girl s face, now the town reffered to her as Violent . Joe had killed the girl because she had tried to leave him. From that point on the story became a struggle of suffering and survival after the deception of jazz .
Jazz symbolized the music that bloomed along with the Harlem Reniassance between the years of 1920 and 1930. Like the harlem Reniassance, it claimed to offer a better life foe southerners with new hopes of opportunities in the North. Violet was embraced by this image, but recalled a different view of jazz . Like many black women of her time, it did not provide the promised opportunities but rather a source of the problem. It wasn t the war that disgruntled the veterans; it wasn t the droves and droves of colored people flocking to paychecks and streets full of themselves. It was the music. The dirty get on down music (Morrison, 58). It challenged the southerner s religious faith, which meant it could only breed evil. Violet argued I messed up my life . Before I came to the North I made sense and so did the world. We didn t have nothing and we didn t miss it. (Morrison, 207)
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