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Written by Julia Wolf
Blackness and Whiteness (Motif)
It is the main motif of the novel. The problem of slavery was the most edgy in America. The color of skin was a decisive factor in life. if you were lucky enough to be born white, then you wont be a slave, but if you are black than it is your destiny to serve. But, the motif of blackness and whiteness may be looked at from another point. No matter whether one has black or white skin, the matter is whether one has a black or white soul and these are completely different things which not always coincide, as we may see in the novel.
The motif of Christianity in the novel reflects the author’s attitude to the world. she believed that the religion is a great power which will unite North and South and if there won't be slavery there wont be suffering in the world. this attitude is embodied in the character of Iola and her mother Marie. They believed that Christian religion should live in actions not in words.
Marie and Robert have birthmarks which are representations of “the freed slave’s hopes for family reunification”. They were separated in the childhood and the birthmark was the only thing that helped Robert to recognize his sister and find out that Iola is his niece, when he looked at Marie’s photo. So, birthmarks are symbols of individualism and in the same time they show the family unions which are the biggest necessities in the world.
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