Paradise
The Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Toni Morrison, is hailed as "the last
classic American writer , a major figure of national literature , and simply the
best writer in America." " Morrison is at her complex and commanding best in
this mysterious tale, as she presents a unique perspective on American history
and leaves her dazzled readers shaking their heads over all that is perpetually
inexplicable between men and women, rich and poor the tyrannical and free
spirited." The statements above are merely personal opinions and have yet to
be proven true. After reading Toni Morrisonís Paradise, I came to the
conclusion that these remarks are over exaggerated. This is based on my opinion
that Paradise is not the writings of a Nobel Prize award winner and should not
be considered one of her best works. After all of the vivid descriptions of her
work, I can say that I was fairly disappointed. Paradise was the first and the
last of Toni Morrisonís novels that I will read. After doing research into
others analysisí of the novel, I realized that I was not alone in my judgment
of Paradise. "I find myself troubled by this novel and how difficult it is to
follow. I donít mind reading slowly, in fact, I have no objection to taking my
time with anything; however, this is simply trying my patience. I wanted to keep
going because I had invested so much of my time into reading the novel, but I
find myself making excuses for not reading it. I wish Ms. Morrison had thought
about the impact of making the reading so challenging and had eased up on us
just a little bit. I am worn out from focusing on every word, but if I donít,
then from one sentence to the next, I lose sight of a character, and then I am
lost too! I just hope I can hang on long enough to get to the finish line,
where, I know I will have to start all over again!" I think this is the
universal thought that goes through most minds after attempting to read

Paradise. I am not saying that the whole novel was awful because it was not. I
thought the theme of the novel was incorporated well through out the novel. The
problems were with the organization of the story line, and the development of
the characters. The opening sentences of Paradise were attention grabbers.

"They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they can take there time. No
need to hurry out here. They are seventeen miles between it and any other.

Hiding places will be plentiful in the Convent, but there time and the day has
just begun." The opening chapter is basically the climax of the plot. That is,
a group of former law abiding male citizens attacks a group of unarmed women.

This is what makes the story line confusing. That is, the beginning of the novel
is the ending. Now the opening scene was good; but, instead of continuing from
there, the story skips to the abandonment of Haven and the founding of Ruby. The
problem was Ms. Morrison choose to tell the story in flashbacks. The story kept
going back and forth in time and in different characters point of views. This is
how the story began to lose me. Paradise focuses on the all black town rural
town of Ruby and the families who reside there. There were nine original
families who founded the town. They are the Morgan, Blackhorse, Poole,

Fleetwood, Beauchamp, Flood, Cato, and the two DuPres families. The descendants
of the nine original families create a version of paradise, hence the title of
the book. The nine original families encouraged marrying among themselves to
preserve the 8-rock blood. The 8-rocks were the pure blacks who did not have one
drop of white blood. These were the families with the dominance in Ruby. The

Morganís financed the founding of the town, owned the town bank and most of
the land. Because of this, they felt they were the most influential and powerful
people in town. The families were tight knit and did not react well to
outsiders. The other characters are the women of the Convent, a former Catholic
foster outside of Ruby that has become a refuge for five women seeking an escape
from the despair, abuse and emptiness of their lives. They are Consoleta
(Connie), Mavis, Grace (Gigi), Seneca, and Pallas. I thought these characters
were underdeveloped. As soon as the readers start to think