In life and culture. Morrison employs the

In Tar Baby, Morrison explores Jadine, the female protagonist’s participation in two cultures and illustrates the extent to which she is torn between them. Morrison examines Jadine as a young ambitious character, an educated black woman who take an effort at freeing herself from the strangle hold of her culture’s conventions and restrictions. In the world of matrilinearity where the father is a remote presence, implies, the rejection of an apotheosis of marriage, motherhood and domestic servitude. Their experiences display a stubborn acceptance of a lack of relatedness with family or society. Jadine’s rejection of feminine roles is only a resistance to being sexually exploited. Jadine is seen as the clearest manifestation of a potential culture-bearer, but she chooses to evade the historical burden of racial trauma. The dilemma facing the dream-driven, trauma-ridden Jadine Childs, demonstrates the pariah status of black people and their struggle for a self-identity and authenticity. The novel Tar Baby suggests the problems of alienation and identification that will haunt and entrap tar babies when they are in search of their identities. Morrison refers to the importance of tar in the African world through Jadine. Morrison examines in her novel Tar Baby, the myth of tar baby to reveal black women’s cohesive power in relation to family and community in history. The symbolic meaning of the myth extends beyond itself to the truth regarding the sacredness of black life and culture, and black women’s power to preserve life and culture. Morrison employs the myth to reveal the sacred power of tar in history and to prophesy the significance of Afro-centric understandings of the sacredness of community for the present. Yogita Goyal in the article entitled “The Gender of Diaspora in Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby” recalls the words of Toni Morrison who redefines the term ‘tar baby’ as “the black woman who can hold things together” (406). African womanhood have sustained links with nature and culture to maintain the ‘sacred properties’ which ensure human and cultural continuity.  For these black women tar is not only a metaphor for their bonding, but also for their ‘value,’ their ‘exceptional femaleness’.  Tar Baby is the story of the struggle of a modern black woman to come to terms with her modern materialistic aspirations. In spite of her occasional awareness of her blackness, Jadine is characterized as a black girl who ironically possesses a white self. She is challenged by a black woman in a yellow dress who stood for African heritage. Jadine is attracted to this black woman who carries herself with dignity and is in love with her ethnicity. Jadine wants to be accepted by this ethnic woman but remembering the past with the ‘night women’ she wanted to forget the responsibility towards community and be a model. This attitude widens the gap and is not able to form a positive relationship with other black women; but Jadine’s encounter with these women helps her to realize and understand what she is. These black women drive Jadine to confront reality, a reality she fears and therefore rejects. Jadine’s identification with these women as the ‘other’ leads to a discovery of ‘the self,’ Jadine rejects these black women; by rejecting she not only rejects her culture but also her true self, for a self she believes is her own. Jadine realizes that her self-fulfilment lay in going to Paris, and accepting the white man who had proposed to her, and therefore, succumbing to the white culture. She explains her choice of life in Paris precisely as a search for more broad options. She feels that she had three choices in the United States: “marry a dope king or a doctor, model, or teach art at Jackson High. In Europe she thought there might be a fourth choice” (225). In her struggle for fulfillment, she ultimately loses her roots from the white as well as the African American world, and becomes a double orphan, a pariah figure. Jadine has been almost constructed by the western thing and grateful to it.  Morrison through Jadine highlights the problems of contemporary black woman. She has lost her father and mother at a very young age and has been adopted by her uncle Sydney and Ondine Child. As Sydney and Ondine work for a white family, the Streets, she is under the protection and care of Valerian and Margaret Streets. Jadine’s narcotic dependence on Valerian, the white creates an obsessive need to defend him. She values his opinion more than her uncle’s and aunt’s “They were family…Nandaine and Sydney mattered a lot to her but what they thought did not” (49). To her Valerians are her patrons. She repeatedly expresses a deep sense of indebtedness to Valerians telling that “he put me through school” (263).  She further adds that “They educated me. Paid for my travel, my lodgings, my clothes, my schools” (118). 


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