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Essay about The Importance of Color in Toni Morrison's Beloved

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The Importance of Color in Toni Morrison's Beloved

 
     Toni Morrison's Beloved - a novel that addresses the cruelties that result from slavery.  Morrison depicts the African American's quest for a new life while showing the difficult task of escaping the past.  The African American simply wants to claim freedom and create a sense of community.  In Beloved, the characters suffer not from slavery itself, but as a result of slavery - that is to say the pain occurs as they reconstruct themselves, their families, and their communities only "after the devastation of slavery" (Kubitschek 115).  Throughout the novel, Morrison utilizes color as a symbolic tool to represent a free, safe, happy life as well as involvement in community and family.  She also uses color to convey a character's desire for such a life, while at the same time using it to illustrate the satisfaction and fulfillment that the characters enjoy only after achieving this new life. 

     Paul D's experience is one example of Morrison's use of color as a symbol.  Paul D asks a Cherokee man how to get North - "Free North.  Magical North," (Morrison 112), thus conveying his desire for a free, safe, happy, new, and magical life.  The Cherokee man replies, "Follow the tree flowers."  Here is...


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... owns.  The effects of slavery have destroyed her family, community and even freedom.  Therefore, she focuses on color because it is her own experience and the happiness she feels from pondering color is her own.

Works Cited

Kubitschek, M.D. Toni Morrison: A Critical Companion. London: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Marcus, Brad.  "Diamond Back."  Panel discusses Toni Morrison's Beloved.  04 Dec. 1998.  Diamond Back Newspaper .  18. Oct. 2001. 

Morrison, Toni.  Beloved. New York: Plume Printing, 1987.

Robinson, Mary and Fulkerson, Kris.  Cliffs Notes Morrison's Beloved.  Fster City: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., .

 


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