Motherhood in Toni Morrison’s Sula and A Mercy: Rethinking (M)Othering / Maternidade nas Obras Sula e a Mercy de Toni Morrison: Repensando Concepções

Natália Fontes de Oliveira


Abstract: Motherhood tends to elicit strong feelings in women as well as a passionate rhetoric in our cultural discourse. Daughters have extensively been the focus of studies about mother-daughter bonds. Surprisingly, much less attention has been given to mother figures. By tracing the theme of motherhood in Sula (1973) and A Mercy (2009), I investigate how Toni Morrison rewrites the experiences of black mothers during slavery and its aftermath in the United States. Drawing mainly on feminist and black feminist theories, I explore, through literary analysis, how motherhood assumes various forms in both novels. The comparative analysis of Sula and A Mercy challenges distorted views commonly associated with the black mother and extends notions of mothering beyond biological determinants.

Keywords: Motherhood; black mothers; Sula; A Mercy; Toni Morrison.

Resumo: A maternidade tende a provocar sentimentos fortes em mulheres, bem como uma retórica passional em nosso discurso cultural. Filhas tem sido extensivamente o foco de estudos sobre laços materno-filiais, mas, surpreendentemente, menos atenção tem sido dada às figuras maternas. Ao traçar o tema da maternidade em Sula (1973) e A Mercy (2009), investigo como Toni Morrison reescreve as experiências de mães negras durante e após a escravidão nos Estados Unidos. Baseando-se em teorias feministas e em crítica literária feminista afro-americana, exploro por meio da análise literária, as diferentes formas de maternidade nas obras. A análise comparativa das obras Sula e A Mercy desafia visões distorcidas comumente associadas à mulher negra e amplia noções de maternidade para além de determinantes biológicos.

Palavras-chave: maternidade; mães negras; Sula; A Mercy; Toni Morrison.


Motherhood; black mothers; Sula; A Mercy; Toni Morrison.

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Direitos autorais 2016 Natália Fontes de Oliveira

Aletria: Revista de Estudos de Literatura
ISSN 1679-3749 (impressa) / ISSN 2317-2096 (eletrônica)

Licença Creative Commons
Esta obra está licenciada com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.