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Trauma, Mind Style, and Unreliable Narration in Toni Morrison’s Home

Whitt, Richard



This essay provides a two-fold reading of Toni Morrison’s novel Home. In the first instance, the stylistic representation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is explored in relation to Frank’s mind style; this is done through a focused examination on passages related to Frank’s misremembered murder of a girl during his time as a soldier in the Korean War. Frank’s guilt and faulty memories, and his lingering experience of PTSD, lead to the issue of narrative unreliability. I show how not just Frank himself but also the unspecified third-person narrator is just as unreliable as Frank, if not more so. The seemingly contentious relationship between Frank and the other narrator ultimately leads to Frank’s realization about his hand in the murder of the Korean girl, and hence to a coming to terms with and recovery from war-induced PTSD.


Whitt, R. (in press). Trauma, Mind Style, and Unreliable Narration in Toni Morrison’s Home. Style,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 19, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2023
Print ISSN 0039-4238
Electronic ISSN 2374-662
Publisher Penn State University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL