“Blues da Piedade”


Since completing reading the novel, I have been trying to make sense of the recurrence of the name “Piedade” throughout the novel.  The name comes up quite a few times:

  1. “Then [Connie] told them of a woman named Piedade, who sang but never said a word” (264).
  2. “There is nothing to beat this solace which is what Piedade’s song is about, although the words evoke memories neither one has ever has: of reaching age in the company of another…” (318).
  3. “When the ocean heaves sending rhythms of water ashore, Piedade looks to see what has come” (318).

Continue reading ““Blues da Piedade””

Does Morrison Doom Characters to Their Names?

Hello all!

Something I have thinking quite a bit about lately is the bluntness of the names that Morrison gives her characters.  In class yesterday, Alpha talked a little bit about how one of the minor character’s names in the novel is “Praise Compton.”  I came across this article which explains how Compton “struggled with an outsized reputation, seared into American pop culture, as a place synonymous with gangs, drive-by shootings and gangsta rap.”  The article also mentions how crime rates have been decreasing there in the last ten years.  So why does Morrison praise the gang-infiltrated Compton?  Is she simply praising African Americans who take control of their own lives?  What do you all think of this? Continue reading “Does Morrison Doom Characters to Their Names?”

Paradise is Going Green

Hello all,

Thought  I would do a more detailed post after sharing that slam piece.


I would like to spend a little bit of time writing about the prominence of the color green in Paradise.  The first page that I noticed it on was page 7, when the men are raiding the Convent.  Morrison wrote: “The man eyes the kitchen sink.  He moves to the long table and lifts the pitcher of milk.  He sniffs it first and then, the pistol in his right hand, he uses his left to raise the pitcher to his mouth, taking such long, measured swallows the milk his half gone before he smells the wintergreen.”  Immediately when I hear the word “wintergreen” I think of mint.  I googled wintergreen to see if it has some sort of medicinal properties, and it does.   Continue reading “Paradise is Going Green”

Meter in Paradiso – Emphasis on the _____?

Hi all!

We have been talking a lot about how Dante is constantly romanticizing Beatrice, constantly proclaiming his love for her.  A great example of this occurs pages 213-214 when Dante says:

“Those loving words made me turn round to face/ my Solace.  What love within her holy eyes/ I just saw then–too much to be retold.”

Dante calls Beatrice his “solace” defined by dictionary.com as: “something that gives comfort, consolation, or relief.”  Therefore, Beatrice allows Dante to feel calm.  While looking up this definition, I notices that the stress for the word “solace” is at the beginning of the word: sol-is. Continue reading “Meter in Paradiso – Emphasis on the _____?”


“Golden” as copied, pasted, and defined from Wiktionary.com:

Please note that all of the blue words can be clicked on and take you to a more detailed and specific definition of that particular word.


golden ‎(comparative more golden or goldener, superlative most golden or goldenest)

  1. Made of, or relating to, gold.
    She wore a golden crown.
  2. Having a colour or other richness suggestive of gold.
    Under a golden sun.
  3. Marked by prosperity, creativity etc.
    The Renaissance was a golden era.
    the Golden Horseshoe
  4. Advantageous or very favourable.  [quotations ▼]
    This is a golden opportunity
  5. Relating to a fiftieth anniversary.
    It’s not long until our golden wedding.
  6. Relating to the elderly or retired.
    After retiring, Bob and Judy moved to Arizona to live out their golden years.
  7. (Britain, slang) Fine, without problem

Continue reading “GOLD / GRAY”

Rose’s Well

*Spoilers – Please do not read until you have completed the reading for 10/17*

Hello everyone!

I recently completed the reading for Monday, and I found myself noticing a lot of references to “churning” in Jazz.  From pages 98-102, we are given quite a bit of background information regarding Violet’s family.  Violet’s mother is called “Rose Dear”.  (I also think it is important to note that both of the women’s names are flowers).  The narrator explains how Violet refuses to turn into her mother: “Sitting in the thin sharp light of the drugstore playing with a long spoon in a tall glass made her think of another woman occupying herself at a table pretending to drink from a cup.  Her mother.  She didn’t want to be like that.  Oh never like that” (97).  Violet remembers men coming into the house and ransacking it for all it was worth (97).  I wonder if this was because Rose was not paying bills, or because she simply allowed these men to come in and take whatever they wanted.  Either way, Violet claims she will not turn into her mother.

Back to churning!  So, Rose’s mother drowns herself in a well (99).  That water took Rose’s life, “Violet never forgot Rose Dear–or the place she had thrown herself into–a place so narrow, so dark, it was pure, breathing relief to see her stretched in a wooden box “(101).  Violet is relieved to know her mother has passed, but staying in the place where she grew up is no longer an option.  We learn: “As Violet grew older, she could no longer stay where she was nor go away.  The well sucked her sleep, but the notion of leaving frightened her” (102).  At this point in her life, Violet is considering committing suicide the same way her mother had.  I think there is not only the churning of the well, but the churning of Rose and Violet’s blood.  Rose and Violet are both mentally unstable, they both react to unwanted situations in dangerous ways.  (Rose threw herself into a well, whereas Violet stabbed Dorcas’ dead body during her funeral).  I think the churn of their blood is important, and part of the reason Violet did not have children was to halt that churning.

Do any of you agree/disagree?  Are there any more instances of “churning” in our recent reading?



History.com – The Great Migration


Hi everyone!

I wanted to know more about the Great Migration, other than the fact that many African Americans moved up north.  I think this is a great article which includes why the Great Migration happened, how African Americans traveled, and what they did when they arrived in the north.  It also gives some cultural background of African Americans during this time period.

For those who migrated, there was a lot of competition for jobs and also for housing: “Some residential neighborhoods enacted covenants requiring white property owners to agree not to sell to blacks; these would remain legal until the Court struck them down in 1948.”

Continue reading “History.com – The Great Migration”