Toni Morrison, Paradise (1997)

Critical Reflection no. 6 (100 points; 10% of course grade)
[To be completed after reading Morrison’s Paradise, “Patricia” & “Consolata”
Hi everyone, for our critical reflection this week, I’d like you to take a focused analysis approach
to only one chapter (either “Patricia” or “Consolata.”). In this analysis, take stock of how the
author is working on the page; quote and analyze passages to build to a larger understanding of
what Morrison is doing.
Patricia: In what ways does this narrative present more history of Ruby and how their town is
“pure?” How, for example, might “The Disallowing” they speak of play into the massacre at the
“convent?” (Here, you might try to unpack Misner and Patricia’s tense discussion, 205-213) In all,
why does Patricia burn the lineage papers at the end? What does this burning reveal about her
feeling on Ruby’s people?
Consolata: What strikes you most about the history of Connie and the Convent presented here?
Why? Look back over pages 262-266 (the end of the chapter). You’ll notice that we’ve seen this
cellar before; the nine men who attack the Convent enter and describe the cellar as “the devil’s
bedroom..and his nasty playpen” (17). What is the reality of the scene though? What is this “loud
dreaming” that Connie has the girls do and why is this so significant to her/them? How does it
help the girls? Here, try to read symbolically as the girls get over their past trauma and abuse.
Lastly, at the conclusion of this chapter, Morrison writes that because of the “loud dreaming,”
“the Convent women were no longer haunted” (266). What does she mean by this? In what ways
does this chapter speak to the earlier chapters in the novel?
This explication is less formal than an essay (no intro, paragraphs, or conclusion needed) and asks
you to share your insights and observations on the literature. For this analysis, explore the novel
by looking closer not just at what you see the author doing, but at how they are doing this (i.e.,
passages and analysis). The above questions and prompts are guides to lead you to your own
observations and critical analysis; you need not answer each question; rather focus on what you
find interesting about the novel and critical material.
• Typed, standard font & margins
• 1 1/2 – 2 pages, single-spaced
• Uploaded to Blackboard as “Critical Reflection 6” on Monday 5/11, 6pm
• No outside sources required
• Late paper police: you will lose 1/3 of a latter grade each day the paper is late.


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