Rethinking motherhood and motherly love in Toni Morrison’s Sula and Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place

Ane Caroline Faria Ribeiro, Jose Paiva Santos


The present article examines how the novels Sula by Toni Morrison, and The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor, deconstruct long-held controlling images of black women, particularly the Matriarch. The characters Eva Peace and Mattie Michael provide great illustrations of black women who have denied many of the places reserved for them in society, consequently deconstructing controlling images white society imposes on them. These novels place emphasis on black women’s plural roles in society, thereby opening possibilities for a liberating experience of black womanhood.


Controlling Images; Black Women; Matriarch; U.S. Fiction

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