Description : With the continued expansion of the literary canon, multicultural works of modern literary fiction and autobiography have assumed an increasing importance for students and scholars of American literature. This exciting new series assembles key documents and criticism concerning these works that have so recently become central components of the American literature curriculum. Each casebook will reprint documents relating to the work's historical context and reception, present the best in critical essays, and when possible, feature an interview of the author. The series will provide, for the first time, an accessible forum in which readers can come to a fuller understanding of these contemporary masterpieces and the unique aspects of American ethnic, racial, or cultural experience that they so ably portray. This casebook to Morrison's classic novel presents seven essays that represent the best in contemporary criticism of the book. In addition, the book includes a poem and an abolitionist's tract published after a slave named Margaret Garner killed her child to save her from slavery--the very incident Morrison fictionalizes in Beloved.
Description : Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Vienna, 8 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Being white has always been considered as a privilege but also as a standard. Black people therefore are somehow seen as ‘The Other’ and are often discriminated against. African Americans have had to experience horrific acts of violence during and after the time of slavery. Even though slavery is over, black people still have to cope with prejudices and with the history of slavery. In Toni Morrison ́s Beloved the relationship between history and memory is dramatized. She uses memory to explore and represent the various dimensions of slave life. By doing so, she seeks to make slavery accessible to readers for whom slavery is not a memory but a remote historical fact to be ignored, repressed and forgotten. This paper deals with the effects, slavery had on the female characters of Sethe and Baby Suggs. It especially concentrates on the traces slavery has left on their bodies as well as on their minds. The paper also aims at showing how the meaning of the characters names is connected to slavery.
Description : This work expands the scope of Morrison’s project to examine the ways and means of memory in the preservation of belief systems passed down from the earliest civilizations (both the Classical Greek and the Ancient Egyptian) as a challenge to the sterility of modernity. Moreover, this research explores the author’s specific use of Foucauldian theory as a vehicle for her narrative, which reclaims the very origins of civilization’s primal concerns with life, procreation and regeneration, springing from the very Heart of Africa. Despite the weight of "white" authority and the disparaging of "blackness," Beloved’s multiple "ghosts" conjure up a legacy so potent that no authoritarian discourse has been able to entirely erase it, a legacy that still speaks to us from a heritage we no longer acknowledge yet that nevertheless remains, and sustains us.
Description : Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: sehr gut, University of Cologne (Anglistik), course: (Re)writing History in the Novel, 12 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The horrors of slavery are commonly dismissed with comments such as "it's over; it's done." However, with Beloved Toni Morrison demonstrates how history is not over and done with. Morrison allows the reader to re-vision and understand African-American history through nonwestern eyes by re-telling history through the lives of former African slaves. American history is reconceptualized by this novel, which is concerned with historical transmission of a racial trauma. "Beloved" places historical trauma at the center of American race relations and reveals two denials of historical trauma through unveiling the two types of violence; the interracial and 'intraracial'. The racist institutional power denied the violation of African American lives, and the black society refused to admit the truth of African American familial self-destruction and self-hatred. Morrison' s Beloved is a revelation of this trauma portrayed by apocalyptic events, such as infanticide. Infanticide is a motif that occurred already before Christ. Children were seen as properties of their parents who thought to have the 'right' to kill them for example because of poverty. This paper tries to analyse and explain the infanticide which Sethe commits, from different points of view. It shows how Sethe 'legitimates' or explains her act. This is followed by a section with a closer focus on the phenomenon trauma and healing. The last chapter discusses weather the characters surrounding her have the right to judge her or not.
Description : Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is haunted persistently by the ghost of the dead baby girl whom she sacrificed, in a new edition of the Nobel Laureate's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. 25,000 first printing.
Description : Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, Free University of Berlin (John-F.-Kennedy-Institute), course: The Subaltern Speaks: Minority Literature in the U.S., 17 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: The purpose of this paper is not only to probe into the nature of magical realism in the two novels, but also to examine this narrative form as a socio-cultural practice which is connected to a special Weltanschauung.I will expose how Morrison and Castillo employ magical realism, and, in particular, I try to identify its function and the role it plays in terms of Morrison's and Castillo's cultural and historical background. In the conclusion I will expose the parallels between the novels., abstract: In this paper I focus on two considerable U.S. authors: Toni Morrison and Ana Castillo. The fact that these writers - who do not share the same ethnic background - both deploy the literary mode of magical realism in their works has engaged my interest to analyze and compare their novels Beloved and So Far from God. The purpose of this paper is not only to probe into the nature of magical realism in the two novels, but also to examine this narrative form as a socio-cultural practice which is connected to a special Weltanschauung. To enter this vast territory, it will be useful to situate the term magical realism in a theoretical and cultural framework which happens in the following chapter. Subsequently, I will expose how Morrison and Castillo employ magical realism in Beloved and So Far from God, and, in particular, I try to identify its function and the role it plays in terms of Morrison s and Castillo s cultural and historical background. In the conclusion I will expose the parallels which can be drawn between the novels, coming up with the thesis that for these parallels, there are two underlying main functions of magical realism.
Description : Traces Morrison’s theory of African American mothering as it is articulated in her novels, essays, speeches, and interviews. Mothering is a central issue for feminist theory, and motherhood is also a persistent presence in the work of Toni Morrison. Examining Morrison’s novels, essays, speeches, and interviews, Andrea O’Reilly illustrates how Morrison builds upon black women’s experiences of and perspectives on motherhood to develop a view of black motherhood that is, in terms of both maternal identity and role, radically different from motherhood as practiced and prescribed in the dominant culture. Motherhood, in Morrison’s view, is fundamentally and profoundly an act of resistance, essential and integral to black women’s fight against racism (and sexism) and their ability to achieve well-being for themselves and their culture. The power of motherhood and the empowerment of mothering are what make possible the better world we seek for ourselves and for our children. This, argues O’Reilly, is Morrison’s maternal theory—a politics of the heart.