Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

This book began as a search to understand the power of motherhood and evolved into an exploration into the paradox of love, how to love another person is both limiting and liberating-and how we flourish precisely because of that tension...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

In an early passage in Toni Morrison's second novel, Sula (1973), Nel and Sula, two young black girls, are accosted by four Irish boys. This confrontation follows weeks in which the girls alter their route home in order to avoid the threatening...

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1 Intra-independence: Reconceptualizing Freedom and Resistance to Bondage

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pp. 15-40

Frederick Douglass describes in his 1845 Narrative, his transformative encounter with The Columbian Orator (1797), an eighteenth century collection of speeches that served as a popular eloquence manual...

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2 Choosing the Bondage of Domesticity and White Womanhood in The Bondwoman's Narrative

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pp. 41-64

Frustrating the expectations of her intended readers, Harriet Jacobs concludes her narrative with a startling declaration: "Reader, my story ends with freedom; not in the usual way, with marriage. I and...

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3 Voluntary Enslavement and Discursive Violence: Plaçage and Louisa Picquet

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pp. 65-86

In a chapter of The Bondwoman's Narrative titled "Lizzie's Story," Hannah relates the difficulties of Mrs. Cosgrove, a white woman who learns that her husband has been harboring a mulatta mistress in their...

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4 The Bondage of Memory in Gayl Jones's Corregidora

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pp. 87-116

The previous chapters of this study examine situations in which women choose conditions of physical or social bondage in order to protect themselves as intra-independent agents. Although plaçees and...

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Coda From Bondage to War: The Lives of Contemporary Black Women in the Novels of Toni Morrison

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pp. 117-132

Perhaps the most beguiling character in Toni Morrison's recent novel Love (2003) is May Cosey. Although May lives in relative wealth in her father-in-law's East coast beach resort, and has no obvious personal...

NOTES

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pp. 133-144

WORKS CITED

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pp. 145-158

INDEX

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pp. 159-162