What is the function of myth in the novel? Can the tar baby story be considered a myth? Or does it seem like a different kind of narrative?

ichael never appears in the novel. Why do you think it is important that he fails to show up?

There are three major black female characters in the novel: Ondine, Jadine, and Thérèse. How would you compare and contrast them? Does Morrison seem to think one of them best exemplifies what a black woman should be?

Jadine wrestles with both her sense of racial identity and with her sense of what being a woman means. Do you think she feels more constrained or threatened by her race or by her gender?

Many of the characters in the novel commit acts of violence, whether of a verbal or a physical kind. Do you think any of these acts are excusable? Or is violence always wrong?

At the end of the novel Margaret changes both physically and in terms of how much power she has over Valerian. What do you think we are supposed to feel about her by the close of the book?