Toni Morrison’s Beloved: a Realistic Saga of Black Female Slavery

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Toni Morrison’s Beloved: A Realistic Saga of Black Female Slavery by Vaseem G Qureshi
Margaret Atwood in The New York Times Book Review says about The Beloved by Toni Morrison as thus:
In the book, the other world exists and magic works, and the prose is up to it. If you can believe page one – and Ms Morrison’s verbal authority compels belief – you’re hooked on the rest of the book. (Atwood, 1993, 35)
Toni Morrison’s fifth novel, Beloved (1987) explores the degradation imposed upon all African slaves of America. The novel is about matrilineal ancestry and the relationships among enslaved, freed, alive and dead mothers and daughters. The text is so grounded in historical reality that it could be used to teach American history classes.
The protagonist of the novel, Sethe’s character is based on a factual slave woman Margaret Garner in an exaggerated way. For Random House project, The Black Book (1974), “scrap book” of three hundred years of the folk journey of Black America, Morrison had to gather details for the text. A fugitive from Kentucky, Garner attempted to kill her children rather than having them re-enslaved when they were all captured in Ohio in 1850. She succeeded in killing only one, however, whose throat she slashed. Acknowledging that she had indeed conducted research while writing Beloved, Morrison told Martha Darling:
I did research about a lot of things in this book in order to narrow it, to make it narrow and deep, but I did not do much research on Margaret Garner other than the obvious stuff, because I wanted to invent her life, which is a way of saying I wanted to be accessible to anything the characters had to say about it. (Taylor: 1994, 248)
Morrison sets out to give voice to the “disremembered and unaccounted for” (323) women and children who left no written records. The generic name Beloved also suggests all the loved ones lost through…...

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