Say My Name
Say My Name
This chapter discusses how in most cases on record, the tar baby story has a three-part narrative structure: a problem statement, concerning the competition for resources between two representative characters, or between one character and a community; an intermediate sequence in which the struggle intensifies through a scene of captivity, in which the fight between enemies becomes a struggle for recognition; and a solution, which sometimes involves punishment but more often involves an escape that resolves the problems, both material and metaphysical, dramatized in the previous scenes. By reducing this tripartite sequence to the central episode where the trickster is stuck fast to the tar baby, critics have resolved the problems presented inside the story, looking away from the story to the history of its global diffusion.
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