Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A Mercy by Toni Morrison
Yesterday I read an American novel by Toni Morrison - what a thoughtful, beautifully written book it was. The setting is the early days of slavery in America and the power one person has over another, whether African, European, native American. The main character is Florens, a young African slave who is traded to a Dutch settler. Her mother's voice completes the story with these words 'to be given dominion over another is a hard thing, to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing.' The author has a consistent stance in her novels that the lives of women are often very hard and in this book 'A Mercy' a point is made that a woman deferring to a man as the centre of her life is also a kind of slavery. Hmmm. much food for thought there.