Pressure from the Outside: Infiltrating Black Narratives College

Richard Wright and Toni Morrison are considerable influences within the African American canon, authoring works that reflect the expansion of the human condition to the conditions of the oppressed. Both authors highlight, within their narratives, the intermediate pressures surrounding their characters, pressures which dictate their lives and control their expectations. Characters such as Shadrack, Eva, Plum, Sarah, and Silas have a clear overwhelming force placed upon them which is environmental, social, and in some cases polarizes their bodies. Through Richard Wright’s “Long Black Song” and Toni Morrison’s Sula it is evident through death, American institutions, and progressive ideologies that the actions of the characters are the result of outside societal pressures which demonize and eventually destroy them.

Eva takes conscious action in order to alleviate her son of the immense pain caused by his inability to persevere post-WWI but it is through this action that love is erroneously disguised as evil. As a young mother Eva was unprepared for the hardships of motherhood. She was unable to provide for her children, especially Plum, whom she loved the most. She left, and presumably sacrificed her leg for a better life for her...

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