Analysis Of Toni Morrison 's Best Selling Work Beloved Essay

753 Words 4 Pages
In many postcolonial narratives that reconstruct histories of slavery, authors will often use the theme of haunting as a way to portray the past as a painful burden that weighs upon those who suffered the indecencies of slavery. In Toni Morrison’s best selling work Beloved, which earned her a Pulitzer Prize for the novel, she elaborates on this theme of haunting as she recounts the story of a Black female slave named Sethe who made the unfortunate choice to murder her third child in order to save her from the suffering and loss that accompanied a life of enslavement. It is a choice that will continue to haunt her and eventually become a reality as her painful past materializes into a corporeal figure much more present than the memories themselves. Morrison’s purpose for invoking the ghost of Sethe’s dead baby, which comes to be known as Beloved when the spirit shows up in the form of a young woman, is to not only embody the painful memories of a past stained with blood but also to serve as a reminder of the legacy that slavery leaves behind in a country that is built on such oppressive foundations. By using Beloved to aid in the telling of Sethe’s past, present, and possibilities for a future, Morrison shows show how rememory and disremembering are central to the novel’s message that slavery, although abolished, is “not a story” to be “pass[ed] on” because it is already embedded into the shared history of past and future generations. With the sins and sufferings of their…

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