Demystifying Race and Class as Special Needs in Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child

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Rose Joseph


The present research article examines the experiences of characters in God Help the Child (2015) within the framework of issues that require mainstreaming such as racism, ethnicity and class and how they amount to special needs. This special need gets its place in literature because the subject matter and themes of literature often derive their appeal from the twist that results when literary representations undermine, contradict, equal, or surpass the real, or at least our sense of it, the reason why mimesis is often achieved in literature through a figurative portrayal of reality. Literary tropes in other words, help to amplify literary themes within the framework of assumptions that appeal to our definition of reality. Thus, the concept of special needs like any other figurative connotations, serves to expatiate and interrogate issues of racial and class portrayal in the text. Elaborating the concept and idea of special needs/disability to include identity formation rather than the physical or mental characteristics, establishes a case for the “othering” of minority identities who suffer discrimination on the basis of their identities be it racial or class difference.


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Rose Joseph. “Demystifying Race and Class As Special Needs in Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 8, no. 5, Oct. 2023, pp. 189-01, doi:10.53032/tcl.2023.8.5.18.
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