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Faculty Mentors

Dr. Katie Simon

Abstract

Toni Morrison uses tragic stories of young girls to display societal themes throughout her novels. Morrison’s work in A Mercy follows the same trajectory, although Morrison uses girls of many different backgrounds to display her ideas. Morrison sets the time of her novel in late seventeenth century America, before slavery is constructed in the same racial binary many think of today: white masters and black slaves. Placing A Mercy in the early ages of American slavery allows an exploration of bondage defined by class rather than race, creating a larger space for agency to prosper—since station is not defined by skin color in this novel, there is more variation in what captivity is.

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