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MonkeyNotes-Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
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LIST OF CHARACTERS

Major Characters

Son - He is a handsome young black man who has worked as a sailor. He falls passionately in love with a black city girl, Jadine and she changes some of his deeply held values and beliefs. He is a unique person with individualistic ideas and deep roots in 'nature.' He is sensitive and sensuous and does not like the brash city life of New York. He would like to formulate and obey his own laws, not those of society. To an extent he is a rebel but he inwardly longs for the comfort and security of home and hearth.

Jadine - She is an attractive young black girl who works as a model in New York and Paris. She is independent minded yet vulnerable. Her inner conflicts arise due to feeling alienated from her roots. She is threatened by the traditional roles of a woman that she does not want to get trapped by yet she also discounts her ethnic heritage which is an important element of who she is.

Valerian - Valerian Street is a white man who is fairly rich and has moved to Isle des Chevaliers to retire. He lives in a fantasy world, married to a beautiful woman named Margaret and ignores much of the world around him except what he wants to acknowledge as real. He is an obstinate man with strange quirks and interests.


Margaret - She is Valerian's wife and her extraordinary beauty enamored Valerian. After her marriage, she does not know what to do with herself and is bored. She gives birth to their only son-- Michael but she is not a good mother and ends up abusing him because of her own deprived circumstances. Though she is selfish and self-absorbed, she enthusiastically takes up the task of looking after Valerian in his old age.

Sydney - He is employed as a butler in Valerian's service for over thirty years. He is a Philadelphia Negro originally from Baltimore who handles himself with decorum and expects the same from others. He is a responsible man who is impeccable in his role as butler.

Ondine - She is Sydney's wife and the cook in Valerian's household. She has served her employer in Philadelphia and in L'Arbe de la Croix. She is a strong woman who is efficient and not afraid to speak her mind. Her dislike for Margaret (as one later discovers) is justified.

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