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A research paper about Toni Morrison's novel Beloved - Essay Example

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Toni Morrison’s Beloved Set in the antebellum period, Toni Morrison’s Beloved portrays the horrible atrocities of slavery and the trauma this dehumanizing system caused slaves and their families. Considered by many critics to be a slave narrative, the novel exposes the brutalities of this wicked institution that subjugated millions of people throughout the years…
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A research paper about Toni Morrison's novel Beloved

Download file to see previous pages... Besides, Morrison also foregrounds the significance of storytelling and employs different narrative voices to reflect Sethe’s fragmented stories. This form of narration allows her to keep the reader interested and eager to know the unfolding of the story. Morrison’s allusion to “Sixty million and more” represents not only an acknowledgement but also a tribute to the millions of Africans that had to go through the Middle passage. The exact number of these people who underwent much suffering and pain will never be known; however, their memory will survive through their experiences and writings like Morrison’s and others that strive to keep the memory alive. This statement reveals: “Let us turn to Beloved, a Pulitzer Prize winning book set in antebellum America. Usually classified as a neo-slave narrative, it deals with slavery and the myriads of traumas inflicted by such a horrifying institution on the survivors” (Palladino 54). Through Sethe’s and her fellow slaves’ experiences, Morrison portrays the atrocities and evil these millions of slaves had to go through. Besides, this homage to those who experienced slavery has a deep connection with another number that begins the novel: “124 WAS SPITEFUL. Full of a baby's venom. ...
Therefore, 124 has a special link with slavery not only because it was a house that offered refuge to runaway slaves but it also symbolizes the brutalities of slavery through the painful murder of Sethe’s baby. In fact, the missing figure (3) in the number represents Beloved, Sethe’s third child sacrificed through the devastation of slavery, but it also symbolizes all the victims who died in the sea or through of the atrocities of their enslavement. This critic informs: “The sequence 1 2 4 that misses the third figure, signifies the absence of Sethe’s third child: Sethe has four children, Howard, Buglar, the little killed baby, and Denver. Beloved has been excluded from the family, from life and from being enumerated among Sethe’s children; she has been left out and consciously forgotten for being a heavy and unbearable memory”(Palladino 57). Thus, this deliberate effort to forget Beloved represents an attempt to ignore the pain and suffering related to slavery. Moreover, Morrison uses an efficient writing strategy in order to expose the destructive nature of slavery. She carefully combines form and content in an attempt to foreground the brutalities of slavery and the trauma it caused its victims. Indeed, the first paragraph sets the tone of the story without telling explicitly what the real problem is. This style reflects Morrison’s effort to keep the reader interested and waiting. The narrator introduces the ghost without naming it: “As soon as two tiny hand prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard). Neither boy waited to see more; another kettleful of chickpeas smoking in a heap on the floor; soda crackers crumbled and strewn in a line next to the door sill. Nor did they wait ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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