Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This master thesis is an exploration of a common theme within Toni Morrison’s novels: a form of love that is so intense it becomes harmful. This harmful form of love is referred to as “anaconda love”. The anaconda attempts to capture, control, constrict and ultimately consume the recipient of its love. This theme is explored within three novels including Song of Solomon, Beloved, and The Bluest Eye.
In Song of Solomon the theme of anaconda love is shown through parental overbearingness, and how this can result in raising children who will develop similar feelings towards those that they love. In Beloved the theme is explored through a mutual constriction between a mother and the ghost of her daughter. Both women attempt to gain absolute control over the other out of bizarre feelings of love, need, and repentance. The Bluest Eye has two different kind of anacondas: one born out of hate, and out of hope. The father in this story has turned all of his love into hate. He has grown to distrust and despise love. He finds a satisfaction in the pain he causes. The story also features a girl’s fascination with blue eyes. She becomes obsessed with blue eyes, and wants to have them herself, and so becomes the victim of her own anaconda love.
Hogle, Heidi D., "“Anaconda Love” in the Novels of Toni Morrison" (2000). English Master’s Theses. 112.