For this analysis, explore the novel by looking closer not just at what you see the author doing
Critical Reflection no. 5 (100 points; 10% of course grade)
[To be completed after reading Morrison’s Paradise, “Seneca” & “Divine” chapters]
Scholars, in our critical reflection this week, please continue with Toni Morrison’s, Paradise. Take some
time this week to think through and make connections between the town of Ruby and the Convent.
Looking carefully over “Seneca” & “Divine,” you’ll notice that we learn much more about the workings
of Ruby and of the convent. Notice, for instance, how the women of the convent and the women of
Ruby act and react differently. Speculate on how the gendered order in Ruby might bring about these
Next, speculate on how “Seneca” & “Divine” fit thematically with the other chapters, “Mavis” &
“Grace.” What themes or issues does each use to create a palette of feminine voices? For example,
Morrison emphasizes the loneliness and trauma inflicted on these women who end up together. In what
ways might this “convent” be seen as what they are seeking? How do “Seneca” & “Divine” further
explore these issues? In other words, how do “Mavis” & “Grace” and “Seneca” & “Divine” all fit
together to form a main narrative? In short, explore voice in the text and try to speculate on how
Morrison creates multi-vocality (using different voices/ testimonies to create a larger story).
This explication is less formal than an essay (no intro, paragraphs, or conclusion needed) and asks you to
share your insights and observations on the literature. For this analysis, explore the novel by looking
closer not just at what you see the author doing, but at how they are doing this (i.e., passages and
analysis). The above questions and prompts are guides to lead you to your own observations and critical
analysis; you need not answer each question; rather focus on what you find interesting about the novel
and critical material.
• Typed, standard font & margins
• 1 1/2 – 2 pages, single-spaced
• Uploaded to Blackboard as “Critical Reflection 5” on Friday 5/1, 6pm
• No outside sources required
• Late paper police: you will lose 1/3 of a latter grade each day the paper is late.
Image preview for this analysis, explore the novel by looking
closer not just at what you see the author doing