The presentation or participation of The Female Characters in Morrison’s literary writings, we come to know that she, being a female novelist, treats with her female characters in a very unique but superb way “Jazz” is one of them. Being female herself, she is naturally well aware of the psyche, psychological habits growth, the working operations of mind, ways and manners of life of the women of her society.
As a result, she presents the depiction of her female characters through their occurring changes in their views, ideas and ways of life due to the influence of the changes occurring in the society (city). She always depicts her female characters with their own innate inabilities to cope with men. But at the same time, it is worth mentioning that she does not have any grudge, malice and bias towards men.
Though, mostly she presents her female characters through their physical appearances, yet she let them speak about themselves in their own dialogues. That’s why, whenever and whatever they speak, speak about themselves.
Among all the female characters in the novel Trace is considered as the main (central) heroine of the novel. She depicts her in her true psychological as well as physical appearances in her role in the course of the novel. Her psychological workings of the mind are conveyed to us through her dialogues and her behaviour with the other people. This very trait (quality) of her portrayal of the female character becomes very evident in a scene in which Violet is seen (presented) in talking to her parrot and parrot saying her ‘I love you’ and the second is her decision to beget no children. Her decision of not begetting children shows somewhat her passionately violent. Even then people living around her started considering her not violent but Violent.
Violet has not enough sexual charms and attraction for Toe as Dorcass has. Moreover, her lackage of a sexually attractive body and Dorcas’ well attractive body cause of a drift Between Violet and Joe. She tries her best to regain her physical attraction and sexual charms and for this purpose she drinks malts and eats multiple meals. Her competition with the dead girl looks very ironic because her jealousy is still at its peak. She remains unable to get over it. Being childless, she wishes that Dorcas could be the young daughter that she never had. Felice, the friend of Dorcas appears on the scene to serve this role for Violet and she also causes of consolation for Joe.
In this novel, Toni Morrison presents a graphic picture of the cultural rites and customs of Black life in America. She presents the behaviours, ways and manners of all types of people from laymen to the reasonable middle class of her society(city). Here we see that most Negroes (black men) in American society are either laymen or belonging to working or third class. Most of them are the victims of the white folk’s atrocities and suppression. The white men regard them as a low creature living in the suburbs of the surroundings. In spite of their being treated or handled as inferior entities by the white men, the Black men don’t regard or consider themselves mentally slave and subject to them.
In some cases or ways of life, their living gestures and behaviours criticize in the form of mimicry of white people. They are passionate, emotional, ferocious and character in themselves. The character of Dorcas Manfred is an evident proof in this content. Being a passionate and radical kind female, she wants to lead her life in its full swing and colours. She is always full of passion for having enjoyment and zeal and zest of life. But the description of her mental condition finds us to regard her as a most tragic character in the novel. Her tragic death binds us to feel a huge (great) pity for her. Her tragic death also stands for the overall tragedy in the life of Blacks in America.
In spite of Dorcas being the incarnation of beauty; charms and sexual attractions for others, she is also sympathetic and loving. Dorcas’ behaviour near her death seems to be her inner love for Joe and she does not even show his name as her murderer. It is the sympathetic condition of her for him which haunts him after her death. As a result, he starts feeling repentance deeply over what he has done with a girl having such a kind heart full of his love. He starts hating his heinous act of killing a pretty loveful girl whole heartedly.
In the case of another female character_____ Malvonne Toni Morrison also presents her mental picture not only through her habits but also through her response to Joe Trace. Morrison always tries to present her female characters in their true nature, humour and disposition. As Malvonne is somewhat of clever, sharp and tricky nature, she is depicted in the same natural way of her life. Her affectation, pretension and hypocrisy are openly but severely condemned and satirized by Morrison. As she is in the habit of interfering in the neighbors life, she plays an important role in developing and strengthening the unfair relations between Joe and Dorcas. At one occasion, she says to Joe about Violet.
“No point in picking the apple if you don’t want to see how it tastes how does it taste Joe.”
She produces the germs of dis likeness of Violet in Joe. Through her act of interference in others’ lives, Morrison satirises the needless interference which often destroyed the peaceful and loveful conjugal lives of many married couples in Morrison’s time. Similarly, Malvonne’s act of showing false affection becomes evident in a scene in which she sympathizes with Violet. It is an irony of the fact that on one hand, she turns Joe against Violet by saying degrading remarks against Violet but on the other hand she shows false affection and sympathy with Violet by saying that she is the most innocent woman of the world that deserves her sympathy after the death of Dorcas. Through Malvonne’s character depiction (portrayal), Marrison satirizes the false affection and fake sympathies of the ladies of her time.
The portrayal of Alica Manfred the aunt of Dorcas is another case in this content. She was in the habit of showing very queer behaviour in her daily routine matters. On one hand, she wants to prove to be very disciplined, strict and punctual in her rules and regulations but on the other hand we see that she instructs her sixteen years old niece to be “Deaf and Blind” and always tries to frighten her by the fear of doom on the day of judgement and by the fear of “The Beast”. Through her satirical portrait, Morrison presents the hypocrisy, insensibility and fake nature of the ladies of her age.
Morrison maintains the same technique of character portrayal even in the case of minor female characters. Rose Dear and True Belle are not given too much space in the course of the novel, yet their due role casts an everlasting impact on the readers’ minds.
True Belle dares to help or support the family when they are penniless and it is she who raises Joe’s father-Golden Grey. In the same way, Rose Dear bears pressures of trying to provide for her children. She gets so much disappointed and worried that she commits suicide by throwing herself down a well.
In brief, we can say that Morrison presents her female characters in their true spirit, morale, colour of life. Whatever they are in their temperament, humour, nature and disposition, clearly and realistically presented as. Her female characters are the victim of atrocities, suppression and cruelties of the White men. Even though they maintain their individuality, moral traits and certain identity of their own. Almost all the female Black characters are morally strong and keep their significance in their society alive. Her female characters are as important as male characters.