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Beloved Book By Toni Morrison – Review

Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Image from barnesandnoble.com

 

“In 1987, Toni Morrison’s Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1992, with Beloved still widely regarded as her masterpiece, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature” (Metcalf, 2006).

 

Beloved Book – Snippet:

In this book, Toni Morrison projects the dehumanizing effects of slavery. She examines the mental and physical trauma caused by slavery and its lingering effect on its survivors.

 

About the Author:

Toni Morrison is the author of several other novels She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Toni Morrison

 

About this Book:

Inspired by a historical event, Beloved tells the story of a woman, Sethe, haunted by the ghost and later physical manifestation of the daughter she murdered rather than have returned to slavery. Toni Morrison also addresses the importance of family, community and individual and cultural identity.

 

Beloved Book – Characters and Summary:

Quite a number of the characters evolved, that is, they underwent significant personality, mental and emotional changes. One such character is ‘Denver,’ who evolved from an isolated and naive girl to an independent and responsible woman. These transformations are said to have been stimulated by the emergence of Paul D and Beloved.

Sethe, the protagonist, and her daughter Denver lived in ‘124’, a house in a rural area close to Cincinnati. They were blacklisted by the community because of Sethe’s horrific past and the ghost that hunts the house. Sethe had escaped from slavery at a farm called Sweet Home, while she was pregnant with Denver, whom she delivered on her way with the help of a white woman called Amy Denver, to live with her mother-in-Law, Baby Suggs.


 

 
 

    Beloved Book – Characters and Summary (contd):

    Sethe enjoyed only a few days of freedom with her four children before she was tracked down by her old master. Rather than allow her children to be returned to slavery, she attempted to kill all of them, succeeding only in killing the older girl. Sethe, after being rejected by ‘School Teacher’ who saw her as mentally unfit, was allowed to raise her remaining three children at 124. The ghost of the dead baby began to haunt the house. Sethe’s two sons ran away after a few encounters with the ghost and Baby Suggs had passed on, leaving only Sethe and Denver in the house to deal with the supposedly angry ghost of the dead child.

     


     

    Beloved Book – Characters and Summary (contd):

    Sethe and Denver were crippled by the past. Denver never lived as a slave but she suffered the consequences of her mother’s horrific past experiences. Her emotional, mental and social development remained stagnant by her discovery of her sister’s murder and an attempt on her own life by her mother. Denver feared her mother would decide to complete what she started/attempted in the barnyard.

    Denver as a result of these complications grew up an introvert. She lived in isolation, withdrawn from the community and the rest of the world.  Denver became increasingly isolated and self-centered with the loss of her brothers and grandmother. She harbored an intense fear of the world outside and maintained a fragile sense of identity and self.

     


     

    Reference

     
     

      Metcalf, S. (2006, May 18). Toni Morrisons Beloved. . Retrieved March 09, 2018, from

      http://www.slate.com/id/2141971/

       

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