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If Love Is Your Name, “It’s Natural to Make It Your Business”: The Observer-Narrator in Toni Morrison’s Novel Love


This paper is the culmination of a senior project for English and Writing Studies. Drawing on the researcher’s previous experience with trauma study, it explores how Toni Morrison’s narrator L from her novel Love (2003) makes choices throughout the narrative to uphold her core value of love. Unlike previous studies on the topic, this project utilizes literary analysis and creative writing to study narration and character motivation. It concludes that Morrison’s narrator's success hinges on her positionality as a first-person observer-narrator not confined within the chronology of time or space within the novel.


Nikkola Brown is a Creative Writing, English, and Health Humanities triple major who spends most of her time reading and writing. Born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Nikkola spent her early years working towards a goal in STEM, only to discover her true passion in the humanities. She has hopes of attending graduate school to pursue degrees in English and Creative Writing to achieve her goal of becoming a professor. Some of her research interests include trauma and neurodiversity.