Citation

Beloved, Love Your Flesh: A Journey of Communal Healing for African-American Women After The Civil War

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Abstract:

In the story of Beloved, Toni Morrison gives voice to millions of African-American women who endured and survived chattel slavery in America. Morrison creates the character of Sethe who becomes a symbol of the courageous slave mother who spares her child the unspeakable horrors of slavery by ending the child’s life. Although common folktales exist of slave mothers killing their children rather than having them endure the pain and humiliation of slavery, very few stories were accurately written down. One such story was documented and became a symbol for the abolition of slavery. Margaret Garner was a 23-year-old mulatto woman who killed her infant daughter and attempted to kill her other children rather than watch them be sold into slavery. It was Margaret’s story that captured and haunted author Toni Morrison for many years until she sat down, committed pen to paper, and wrote Beloved. The character of Beloved allows Morrison to tell the story of slavery through the voice of collective racial memory. In order for these collective memories to be made whole, a healing process must begin which Morrison provides through the character of Beloved. In order for the healing process to begin, the women of Morison’s critically acclaimed novel must undergo a painful process of examination. They must “re-remember” the bitter memories of slavery and escape to freedom in order to heal their physical and psychological scars. They must first locate the guilt and pain that has been buried by slavery. It is only when the women confront their own painful memories of slavery in the physical manifestation of Beloved that they become whole. This paper will illustrate how Beloved speaks for the slave mother and in doing so allows their daughters to write their own narrative.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

american (10), african (10), belov (9), slaveri (9), stori (7), women (7), morrison (6), pain (5), memori (5), heal (4), slave (4), address (4), mother (4), life (4), african-american (4), must (4), year (3), e (3), collect (3), process (3), toni (3),
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Association:
Name: 96th Annual Convention
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p521847_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Johnson, Benita. "Beloved, Love Your Flesh: A Journey of Communal Healing for African-American Women After The Civil War" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA, Oct 04, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p521847_index.html>

APA Citation:

Johnson, B. M. , 2011-10-04 "Beloved, Love Your Flesh: A Journey of Communal Healing for African-American Women After The Civil War" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p521847_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the story of Beloved, Toni Morrison gives voice to millions of African-American women who endured and survived chattel slavery in America. Morrison creates the character of Sethe who becomes a symbol of the courageous slave mother who spares her child the unspeakable horrors of slavery by ending the child’s life. Although common folktales exist of slave mothers killing their children rather than having them endure the pain and humiliation of slavery, very few stories were accurately written down. One such story was documented and became a symbol for the abolition of slavery. Margaret Garner was a 23-year-old mulatto woman who killed her infant daughter and attempted to kill her other children rather than watch them be sold into slavery. It was Margaret’s story that captured and haunted author Toni Morrison for many years until she sat down, committed pen to paper, and wrote Beloved. The character of Beloved allows Morrison to tell the story of slavery through the voice of collective racial memory. In order for these collective memories to be made whole, a healing process must begin which Morrison provides through the character of Beloved. In order for the healing process to begin, the women of Morison’s critically acclaimed novel must undergo a painful process of examination. They must “re-remember” the bitter memories of slavery and escape to freedom in order to heal their physical and psychological scars. They must first locate the guilt and pain that has been buried by slavery. It is only when the women confront their own painful memories of slavery in the physical manifestation of Beloved that they become whole. This paper will illustrate how Beloved speaks for the slave mother and in doing so allows their daughters to write their own narrative.


Similar Titles:
"A Story to Pass On: "Re-memory" of Our Past in Toni Morrison's Beloved"

Unraveled Pieces of Me: A Sociological Analysis of Former African American Slave Women’s and Perceptions of Life in Antebellum Arkansas


 
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