The Importance Of Manhood In Toni Morrison's 'Winter'

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In the section “Winter” the readers are introduced to a young boy, Junior. Also in these chapters we are told Cholly’s back story. Morrison draws many similarities between both the two young men’s lives. Their actions are explained and seen through their upbringings and the experiences that have shaped them as the characters they are. After Aunt Jimmy, Cholly’s guardian, died he become desperate for manhood. The incident where he encounters the white hunters put a big damper to his becoming of a man. When the white men take their leave, they “crush the pine needle underfoot” (p.149). This just goes to show how Cholly growing into manhood is as fragile as the pine needles their feet trample. This is symbolizing Cholly’s manhood being crushed and by this his psychological state is made weak for the rest of his life. Junior, like Cholly lacks a father to help guide the young boys into their manhood.…show more content…
Cholly being born as an adolescent whose father had “taken off pretty quick before he was born” (p.133). Without a father figure to model what a man is, it puts him at a disadvantage to pursue his manhood. Cholly desperately wants to regard any possible agent as his father for him to emulate, and he even attempts to retrieve his father, who had left him when he was born, as a model of manhood. Cholly finds himself “in the end of his journey” (p.155), he also terminates his journey to manhood for no black man will be able to help him be a man when no black man is, in the eyes of the white people, virile and manly enough to be called a
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