Discuss about Jazz by Toni Morrison

Consider all of the following; then, select any one (1) question, and write a well organized and developed analytical response (about 750 words). 1. After reading Toni Morrison’s Jazz, please consider the following: “Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking. I think that the Negro in America is jazz. Everything he does—the slang he uses, the way he talks, his jargon, the new inventive phrases we make up to describe things—all that to me is jazz just as much as the music we play. Jazz is not just music. It’s the definition of the Afro-American black” (Ryan 159). Your assignment is to either agree or disagree with the quoted material above and support your position with documented references to Toni Morrison’s Jazz. 2. Suffering, redemption, and salvation are often part of a Toni Morrison novel. In Beloved, Sethe acts to save her children from slavery; Ella acts to save Sethe from killing Mr. Bodwin; and Alice saves Violet from sliding into permanent derangement. The “saved” can go forward to build a redeemed life. Your assignment is to assess Morrison’s women saviors. Why do they act? Do they act as individuals or as agents of their communities? What is the motivational force (or forces) behind these redeemers? Select Alice Manfred from Jazz and one other woman “savior” from another of Toni Morrison’s novels and compare and contrast their roles, motivations, and outcomes of their actions. Be sure to support your analysis with documented reference to Toni Morrison’s novels read this semester. 3. Joe Trace tracks Dorcas Manfred across New York City, finds her, and ultimately shoots her. Your assignment is to assess why Joe behaves as he does. Does he intend to kill Dorcas? What are his goals in this process? What are Joe’s motivations? How does Joe react to the death of Dorcas and to his role in her passing? Be sure to support your analysis with documented references to the text of Jazz. 4. At the end of Jazz, Joe and Violet have a picture of Dorcas in their apartment on their fireplace mantle. Your assignment is to assess the role, if any, which Dorcas’ picture has on plot resolution and character development in Jazz. Include in your discussion whether or not the picture is symbolically significant. What is the source of the picture, that is, who gives the picture to Violet? Is the impact of the picture on Joe different from the impact on Violet? If so, please explain in your analysis. Be sure to support your response with documented references to the text of Jazz. 5. “Sth, I know that woman. She used to live with a flock of birds on Lenox Avenue. Know her husband too. He fell for an eighteen-year-old girl with one of those deepdown, spooky loves that made him so sad and happy he shot her just to keep the feeling going” (Morrison 3). “I envy them their public love. I myself have only known it in secret, shared it in secret and longed to show it—to be able to say out loud what they have no need to say it all: That I have loved only you, surrendered my whole self reckless to you and nobody else. That I want you to love me back and show it to me. That I love the way you hold me, how close you let me be to you. I like your fingers on and on, lifting, turning. I have watched your face for a long time now, and missed your eyes when you went away from me. Talking to you and hearing you answer—that’s the kick. But I can’t say that aloud; I can’t tell anyone that I have been waiting for this all my life and that being chosen to wait is the reason I can. If I were able I’d say it. Say make me, remake me. You are free to do it and I am free to let you because look, look. Look where your hands are. Now.” (Morrison 229) Your assignment is to read the opening and closing paragraphs of Jazz, presented above. Based upon your reading of these passages as well as the book itself, identify the narrator of Jazz as completely as possible, explain the type of narration, and define the interaction between narrator and reader. Please be as specific as possible, and support your analysis with documented references to the text of Jazz. 6. In Jazz, the reader learns the individual stories of each of the principal characters. Joe Trace tells us his story. Specifically, according to Joe, “With her [Dorcas] I was fresh, new again. Before I met her I’d changed into new seven times. The first was when I names my own self, since nobody did it for me, since nobody knew what it could or should have been” (Morrison 123). Your assignment is to discuss and explain Joe’s remaking seven times. Is Joe’s evolutionary story related to Jazz’s structure as a novel? If yes, please explain. Be sure to support your analysis with documented references to the text of Jazz. 7. In Jazz, insight into the evolving and becoming of a community is gained by examining the struggles, strengths, weaknesses, failures, successes, interactions, salvation, and redemption of characters as each negotiates the landscapes of life. As each character makes this life journey, taking responsibility is a key part of each individual’s journey. Your assignment is to answer this question: Who is responsible for Dorcas’ death? Include in your analysis how and why Dorcas meets her death, who participates in her process of dying, and why she actually dies. Support your position with documented references to the text of Jazz

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