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New Critical Essays on Toni Morrison's God Help the ChildRace, Culture, and History$
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Alice Knox Eaton, Maxine Lavon Montgomery, and Shirley A. Stave

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496828873

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496828873.001.0001

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“You Not the Woman I Want”: Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child and the Legend of Galatea

“You Not the Woman I Want”: Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child and the Legend of Galatea

Chapter:
(p.106) “You Not the Woman I Want”: Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child and the Legend of Galatea
Source:
New Critical Essays on Toni Morrison's God Help the Child
Author(s):

Maxine Lavon Montgomery

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496828873.003.0007

Montgomery's essay interrogates the close, yet ambivalent relationship between Morrison's most recent work of fiction and Greco-Roman myth with dual accounts of the legendary Galatea as both an animated statue that comes to life as a result of the careful sculpting on the part of Pygmalion and an enchanting sea-nymph who inspires the musician, Polyphemus. Through a reliance upon recent works by post-colonial, diaspora, and trans-national scholars Paul Gilroy, Homi Bhabha, Tuire Valkeakari, and others, along with the deconstructionist theory of Jacques Derrida, she pays close attention to Morrison's narrative and rhetorical method in talking back to Ovid as a means of conflating the twofold identities ascribed to Galatea and recycling classical tropes using a strategy invested in a diaspora imaginary involving slavery, the Middle Passage, and colonization -- key events defining a specifically raced, trans-national history.

Keywords:   Intertextuality, Diaspora, Post-colonial studies, Trans-national history, Middle Passage

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