Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The end of Toni Morrison's "Tar Baby"

Toni Morrison's 1981 novel "Tar Baby" ends with Son Green being rowed between islands in the Caribbean by Thérèse, a nearly blind woman. She leaves him on a rocky shore on the opposite side of the island he wanted to reach, and after struggling to solid ground, he runs "lickety-split" into the woods, "looking neither left nor right." While "lickety-split" alludes to how Brer Rabbit runs away at the end of the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby, the crossing of the river and the escape into the woods recalls what runaway slaves in the United States did when they crossed the Ohio River on their way north to freedom. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 26 May 2021)

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