Man-woman relationship is as old as human survival. Earlier it was a biological need. The contemporary complexity of it is an adding up of culture. It is a manifestation of existence which figures the central part in literature. Since the beginning, literary venture has been to represent this relationship along with its concomitants, and to bring out the misfortune. Fiction is the most attribute and prevailing outward appearance of literary term in modern times. The ever-changing reality of life inevitably reflects itself in literature. Morrison’s novels are no exception as regards her depiction of man-woman relationship. Like other novelists, she too explores the tensions and pretensions in this area of life. That man-woman relationship forms a major theme in her novels. All her novels taken up for study here reveal the varied phases of man-woman relationship; marital, premarital, and extra-marital. There is a comprehensive portrayal of man-woman relationship in Morrison’s novels. She speaks of what it was in the past in America, and how it extended to the modern times without much change. She describes how superstitions and infidelity affected conjugal relationships. As a novelist with a keen observation of life, she analyses the reasons for happy and unhappy marital lives. With the keen insight of a psychologist, she portrays pre-marital and extra-marital relationships, and shows sex as the primary instinct in man woman relationships. She has a clear and correct understanding of the working of the masculine and feminine mind. She portrays the frivolous attitude of man who casts away women like worn-out shoes in the presence of new ones. She shows that man is not able to fathom the mysteries of the feminine mind. She wants man not to consider women merely as a means for the release of sexual energy. In reality, the African American society comes out from the slave era. It was identified as the emasculation of the men. As a result, the readers find the vicious treatment in the man-woman relationships. Most of the critics propose that the women’s helplessness comes into view to have been accentuated by or associated to intimidation or denial of, the manhood of the male slave. It is rather expected any female writer can set the genuine voice than the male voice in their storylines. Female writer are the supporter for the rational depiction of man-woman relationship. Unquestionably, the African American society emerging from the slave era, it was recognized as the emasculation of the men. Consequently, the readers meet the vicious conduct in the man-woman relationship.
For the purpose of present study the contents have been taken from relevant books, articles and journals. Both primary and secondary sources of information have been taken together.
The present novel Beloved is about women, which marshals the description form of bravery in the African American fictional world with keeping unique focal point on the man-woman relationship. In a very forceful way, Morrison employs Beloved to demonstrate in agonizing element one of the ways black women’s bodies were “scarred and dismembered by slavery and then salvaged and remembered in the acts of free love” (Ashraf Rushdy 102). It is about a love relationship vanished twisted between mother and daughter. Women as mothers had the furthermost mental propel within the American slave culture. The practice, which deprived of the women the prospect and opportunity of loving their children, only handed out to set against them from their children. The type of love relationship between mother and daughter in this novel is moreover indicative of the unusualness and intricacy of Morrison’s art. It is a novel on the subject of women, which drum up the description form of intrepidness in the African American fictional world keeping extraordinary meeting point on the man-woman relationship. Within the past border of American slave culture, Morrison portrays the ability for destructive love from a historical truth. Sethe Suggs’ love for Beloved is “tough and she back now” (B 200). She strive to validate her deed by make believe that there is just no substitute to what she does; “How if I hadn’t killed her she would have died and that is something I could not bear to happen to her” (B 200). The novelist appears to support Sethe’s situation about the infanticide. However, afterward in the novel, the writer looks as if not to disregard the infanticide as she also depicts the vengeance that such ugliness precise. Morrison proposes that Beloved can be read in two ways, both as a psychically injured real-life slave girl and as a ghost (fantasy object for the emotions of others). We might as well consider her from perspectives. Beloved is killed at the age of two. According to classical psychoanalysis, children begin at this age to experience the oedipal crisis, which should bring about their growth into divide selfhood.
Morrison’s novel Jazz presents with the issue of romantic love and desire against the backdrop of man-woman relationship. It puts that problem as a battle for both self-identity and recognition. The novel as well give particulars, on the other hand, how love and shared positive response cannot be appreciate by yourself of one’s interior self or one’s community setting. The trouble of love is a difficulty of the insensible psychosomatic self as well as the outside public circumstance. Therefore, this novel displays through her characters that for African- Americans living in a racist, post-slavery society which reject them their grade as human issue, the union of love are repeatedly forged into the repression of authority and dislocation of the self. Morrison’s narrative demonstrate that while romantic love is a yearning for joint acknowledgment and must permit for identicalness and disparity to co-exist in chorus, in a social system where differentiation rights command by gender and race, female longing is dislocate, yet smashed. We are familiar with that the basics of adult romantic love stretch out in childhood. Adult sexual love is not only formed by actions and relations commence in the epoch of babyhood and upbringing, but also adult erotic life is an occasion to rebuild and revise clash that began there.
In Song of Solomon, Morrison deals with ancestral myth that directs about man-woman relationships. Of course, it leads the way towards origin of the African American culture. Her negative depiction of the male characters likes to show her gamut of man-woman relationship. In fact, hidden ancestral myth in the novel is explained by her portrayal of the man-woman relationships. The present novel is about a family’s history, which always reflects the combined history of the Afro-Americans. This chronological story spins around Milkman Dead and his unwitting spiritual and physical journey to his ancestral home. Milkman begins his life with a very low intensity of alertness about the triptych of race, class and gender. Such lack of knowledge leads to a deficiency of self-awareness, which put off his expedition towards his individuality. His self-realization is hindered by his cuddle of the worldly and covetous philosophy that he swallows from his father. When he gives up money-oriented thoughts, his principles rises to a higher level and commences to commingle with African masses.
Sula is a story about uncertainty. It inquires and scrutinizes the terms ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ habitually representing that the two time and again be similar to one another. The narrative deals with the bewildering mysteries of human sentiments and relationships, in the end concluding that social principles are insufficient as groundwork for living one’s life. The tale appeals to the reader to be relevant and absolutely opposed terms of ‘good and evil,’ ‘right and wrong’. At the same time as exploring the ways in which people attempt to make meaning of lives overflowing with disagreement over race, gender, and straightforward distinctive points of views. Sula refuses to accept uncomplicated responses, signifying the indistinctness, exquisiteness, and fear of life. Morrison’s ambiguous link between man and woman relationships, she is intelligent to illustrate that these terms are relative to each other and often occur mutually. Helene Sabat, the daughter of a New Orleans prostitute, wed Wiley Wright, a man from the Bottom and set up a respectable home there. Throughout a journey by train back to New Orleans to visit her ailing beloved grandmother, she is dishonored by a prejudiced white conductor. One-legged Eva Peace, her daughter Hannah and Hannah’s child Sula subsist in a large house filled with friends, extensive family and various boarders. The matriarchal Eva set of laws the household from a rocking chair fitted into a child’s wagon. Her son Plum returns from World War I sensitively ruined and went under his grief into alcoholism and drug addiction. Eva’s attachment to Plum does not permit her to watch him perish so after rocking him to sleep one night, she kills him by cover his bed with kerosene and lighting it. Alisha R. Coleman argues the girls feed one another peer-parenting in the absence of balanced parenting the local role models. Up until Nel’s marriage to Jude a man who believed that with Nel, “the two of them together would make one Jude” (83) Sula and Nel are kindred spirits. A few years afterward Sula is dying and Nel momentarily visits her. When Sula lastly dies, she mystically remains cognizant. She is outside of her body looking down at it. She comprehend that death is trouble-free and incredible.
The novel Tar Baby itself reinterprets a folktale that almost certainly originated in Ghana however which turn out to be exclusively American from side to side retellings on Southern plantations. Br’er Fox efforts to trick his arch enemy Br’er Rabbit by placing a sticky doll made from tar in its path (the Tar Baby). After Br’er Rabbit gets stuck to the doll, he tricks Br’er Fox into helping him escape. Some critics have argued that Br’er Rabbit represents a black slave who tricks or outwits his white master. In the foreword to Tar Baby, Morrison remembers the significance of Storytelling in her childhood. She grew up listening to the adults in her family amuse one another with tales and early on she developed the longing to spin yarns as well. Morrison in due course dedicated Tar Baby to the many women at whose feet she first learned both to pay attention and to tell stories, including her mother and grandmothers.
In The Bluest Eye, the Black woman who faces straight double oppressions is Pauline. She is a Black woman who is oppressed due to her race and gender. Pauline faces all types of women’s oppressions such as social deprivation, physiological oppression, cultural oppression, and psychological oppression. Basically Pauline and her family, i.e. Cholly Breedlove (her husband), Sammy Breedlove (her son), and Pecola Breedlove (her daughter) are oppressed psychologically by the master. The master here is the White man. He treats each of them (the Breedlove family) as the ugly people who are expected to wear that image (the ugly people). She and her family are considered ugly because physically they have black skin, curly hair, heavy eyebrows which are nearly met, crooked nose, etc. and it is contrary to the physical of White people who have white skin, straight hair, sharp well formed nose, etc. The eyes, the small eyes set closely together under narrow foreheads. The low irregular hairlines seemed even more irregular in contrast to the straight heavy eyebrows which nearly met Keen but crooked noses with insolent nostrils. They had high cheek bones, and their ears turned forward. Shapely lips which called attention not to themselves but to the rest of the face... It was as though some mysterious all knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear... the master had said, “You are ugly people’’. Pauline in the ninth of eleven years old lives on a ridge of red Alabama clay seven miles from the nearest road. When Pauline was a child, she was oppressed psychologically because she was treated differently from others since she was two years when Pauline’s foot was injured by a nail at the road. Since then, her foot was lame. From the analysis of the Black women oppression in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the researcher invites the other readers to acknowledge the oppressions faced by Black women, particularly in this novel. Furthermore, Morrison also invites to reveal the Black women’s response to the oppressions, whether they accept the oppression, imitate or reject it.