SAMPLE: Introduction and Thesis (thesis idea underlined in the text)

Marva Bell

American Literature 2130

Professor McFarland

November 27, 2004


            It has been said that something goes missing in an individual if one’s relationship with their mother is askew.   In her novel, Sula, Toni Morrison explores the enigmatic aspects of motherhood.  She acknowledges those characteristics of mothers that are not written about in greeting cards.  Morrison deliberately depicts a much more complicated version of the relationship between a mother and her offspring.  She reveals both the amazing heights and awful depths of her love.   She shows that its real nature includes both altruism and self-interest.  Her telling of this mother love challenges the traditional sweet, gentle, care giving role most often assigned to the nurturing soul called Mother.  In fact, Morrison’s mothers do not conform to any specified standard of behavior.  They themselves are the products of imperfect mothers’ doubts and fears, and oftentimes their expressions of love are misunderstood by the very ones they cherish.  Toni Morrison breaks with the typical expectations surrounding the mother figure in order to refashion the archetype.  Morrison’s paradoxical portrayal certainly provides her readers with a fuller picture of a mother with a hint of suggestion for them to embrace the whole.



"A paradoxical introduction appeals to readers' curiosity by pointing out an aspect of the topic that runs counter to their expectations. Just as an interrogative introduction draws readers in by asking a question, a paradoxical introduction draws readers in by saying, in effect, 'Here's something completely surprising and unlikely about this issue, but my essay will go on to show you how it is true'" (Greene and Lidinsky 205).