Noun: having qualities traditionally ascribed to strength, boldness, and aggressiveness; habits or traits that society considers to be appropriate for a MAN.
“The restraint they had exercised possible only because they were Sweet Home men - the ones Mr. Garner bragged about while other farmers shook their heads in warning at the phrase. ‘Y’all got boys,’ he told them. ‘Young boys, old boys, picky boys, stroppin boys. Now at Sweet Home, my niggers is men every one of them. Bought em thataway, raised em thataway. Men every one.’ ‘Beg to differ Garner. Ain’t no nigger men.’ ‘Not if you scared, they ain’t.’ Garner’s smile was wide. ‘But if you a man yourself, you’ll want niggers to be men too.’ ‘I wouldn’t have no nigger men round my wife” (Morrison 12).
He thought what they said had merit, and what they felt was serious. Deferring to his slaves’ opinions did not deprive him of authority or power. It was schoolteacher who taught them otherwise. A truth that waved like a scarecrow in rye; they were only Sweet Home men at Sweet Home. One step off that ground and they were trespassers among the human race” (Morrison 148).
ABSENCE OF FAMILY
“There’s a way to put it in there...
... and there's a way to take it out. I know em both and I haven't figured out yet which is worse" (Morrison 84).
“It was some time before he could put Alfred, Georgia, Sixo, schoolteacher, Halle, his brothers, Sethe, Mister, the taste of iron, the sight of butter, the smell of hickory, notebook paper, one by one, into the tobacco tin lodged in his chest. By the time he got to 124 nothing in the world could pry it open” (Morrison 133).