THE ECO AND PSYCHE IN TONI MORRISON’S A MERCY (Published)
In A Mercy (2008), Toni Morrison extrapolates from her usual concern for the “peripheral existence” of the black community and probes into the aftermath of displacement, dislocation and “ontological instability” of the natives, indentured servants and the slaves –black, brown or white- in a “dominion” ruled by the newly formed gentry class of the ‘New lands”- America. Apart from the issues related to physical/ geographical dislocations, the novel dockets the cause and effect of imbalances – mental, emotional and psychological – stirred up by the extreme climatic conditions in the “wilderness” of America in the mid-seventeenth century. In this paper, I suggest that the ecology of these regions play an important role in affecting the psyche of the inhabitants. Inversely, the psychic states of the powerful and the powerless contribute, and to an extent, shape/influence the ecological patterns of the regions they inhabit. In order to understand the dynamics of the relationship between the two, I wish to read the novel in the light of a few selected principles of ecopsychology, chiefly the ecological ego and unconscious, and biophilia.