The Tragedy of Being Homeless at Home
Numerous lyrics, speeches, quips, plaques, and other similar paraphernalia extol the virtues of home. Moreover, perusal of any reputable dictionary confirms that home denotes a positive place—a place of sheltering or protection from external forces that might inflict illimitable dangers or nuisances. The term home may be used to refer to a physical place, such as a dwelling, a community, geographical region, or better yet, a country itself, as in one's homeland: take America, for example. The same term may refer to people that inhabit a place—one's kin or family, with attendant positive associations of warmth, comfort, acceptance, nurturing, and of course, charity, as in love. Finally, the security of the physical home and the familial home usually contributes to the development of a wholesome individual who loves, accepts, and feels at peace—at home—with self. But what happens to the psyche of the individual who is shown no charity in the larger environment nor at home? What happens to that psyche—to the self—when home becomes a frightening, soulessly cruel abode and being inside is as traumatic as being put outdoors? Toni Morrison addresses this very subject for African Americans in her novel The Bluest Eye.
As Morrison has stated, the initial purpose of the novel as an art form was to tell people something they didn't know, especially how to behave in this [ nineteenth-century England] new world, how to distinguish between____________________