Paradise by Toni Morrison

Paradise by Toni Morrison

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Paradise by Toni Morrison Would you be embarrassed if you were in love with an ugly person, and were very attractive yourself? In the world today, appearance is of most importance and if you love an ugly person when you are beautiful, you are seen as dating below yourself.

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Paradise by Toni Morrison Essay examples

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In the case of Paradise: by Toni Morrison, Ron is telling the story both in first and third limited person. The reason for this style of narrative is precisely because Ron is embarrassed both that he loved a homely unattractive woman, and of the way he has treated her.
At the beginning of the story, Ron starts off in first person, introducing himself by saying, "I am the man and my friend Sarah Cole is the woman." This proves to us right at the start that Ron indeed is the man that is in the narrative. Ron is ashamed of himself and therefore has to wait until he knows that Sarah is dead to get his story out of his system by telling it in this way. Banks uses first person and third person limited points of view to illustrate that Ron is apprehensive about telling the story as himself, so he tells it as if it is another character. But he then flips it back by telling the readers that he is indeed Ron, for example, "I said earlier that I am the man in this story." He does this because he is embarrassed about the way he treated Sarah.
Banks chooses to tell the story in a limited point of view so we as the readers can really never know exactly what is going through Sarah's head at this time. I know that if I was seeing a gorgeous rich man I would be ecstatic, but we really are not able to see what she feels about the situation, or how she feels when Ron rejects her. I sympathize with Ron, because he has in a sense lost someone that he dearly cared for; but I especially can relate with Sarah because rejection is really hard to deal with. However, Ron is going through a social problem, and as I mentioned at the beginning society is big on appearance and attractiveness, so he is afraid to take Sarah into public. I understand his point, but however I felt that if he really loved her he should not have been afraid of what others thought. Only until she was dead could he admit that he loved her, and even then people did not believe him.
Ron starts the narrative off as a love story, building up to that first time they made love, but he ends it as a tragic story of the loss of a woman that he truly cared for. Banks starts the narrative off at when they met, and then skips to the times that they just happen to bump into each other. Finally he tells about them making love and talking for hours, and Ron even goes out into public with her. However, he ends the story as if he himself has killed her with the words, "Leave me now, you disgusting, ugly bitch." The reason for this change in frame of mind is because Sarah has died now and he is both trying to remember his love for her, and releasing the guilt he has over her death.
I think that Banks really does not share his views or interject his opinion into the narrative, but I believe that he feels bad for Ron because he loves an ugly woman, but in the end he presents Ron as having killed Sarah, which is a little bit ironic.
If Banks had told the story from Sarah's point of view, it would have been more of a fairy tale story. For example Banks states, "She walked out the door…determined to make love to a man much prettier than any she had seen up close before, and I walked out determined to make love to a woman much homelier than any I had made love to before." This quote supports the fact that the story, if told from Sarah's point of view, would start off as a fairy tale. However, this fairy tale would not have a happy ending because she does not get the prince in the end, she gets her toad of an ex-husband back. So by telling the story from Ron's point of view, Banks complicates it and makes us readers think more about what is going through Ron's head.
In conclusion, Banks uses both first person point of view, and third person limited point of view in this narrative. He uses two different views to illustrate the fact that the character, Ron, is ashamed to tell the whole story as himself, so he presents himself as an actual character in the story. Banks also tells the story from Ron's point of view, because it is more complex and makes us as readers think through Ron's view instead of reading it and saying, "Awe poor Sarah, that Ron guy is a real jerk."
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