Preview
Preview

Beloved: The Haunting Past of America Essay

:: 7 Works Cited
Length: 2841 words (8.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


     Some people cannot remember anything for weeks, months, or even years.  This condition is called amnesia, "the loss of memory as a result of brain injury or deterioration, shock, fatigue, senility, drug use, alcoholism, anesthesia, illness, or psychoneurotic reaction."1[1]  Especially, when amnesia is a psychoneurotic reaction, it can cover even the patient's entire life.  Toni Morrison, in an interview, said that not only an individual but also an entire nation could be diagnosed as (psychoneurotic) amnesia.  Discussing Beloved, she explained what she calls a "national amnesia."

I thought this [Beloved] has got to be the least read of all the books I'd written because it is about something the characters don't want to remember, I don't want to remember, black people don't want to remember, white people don't want to remember.2[2]

 

 

The memory of slavery that nobody wants to remember had to be written, and the unspoken stories had to be told and remembered.  No matter how it hurts to "rememory" the past, Toni Morrison had to write about it, and she did.  She had to give a voice to the "Sixty Million and more" slaves and names to those who had been buried nameless.3[3]  She said, "It was an era I didn't want to get into - going back into and through grief," yet she had to, because America has been still haunted by the past of slavery and burdened by the weight of the memory.  Through Beloved, Morrison brought up the repressed memory again and woke up America from a "national amnesia."   In this essay, I shall discuss how Morrison evokes the haunting past of America in Beloved so that no one runs away from the past: first, by giving voices to the slaves, especially, Margaret Garner; second, by arousing a ...


... middle of paper ...


...itz, "Nameless Ghosts: Possession and Dispossession in Beloved," Studies in American Fiction, 17 (1989), 157.  Although, from a vampire, succubus, to a pre-Oedipal child, various ways of seeing Beloved is possible, Horvitz's definition is more comprehensive.  On the vampire, succubus theme, see Trudier Harris, Fiction and Folklore: The Novels of Toni Morrison (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991).  The definition of a pre-Oedipal child gives a great deal of insight to see the relationship between women characters.  See Jennifer Fitzgerald, "Selfhood and Community: Psychoanalysis and Discourse in Beloved," Modern Fiction Studies, 39 (1993), 669-87.

     9[9]  The unconscious is a controversial concept.  I used this term in a more figurative way.  It is like a huge storage, in which we throw away everything that we do not want to remember or accept.

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
How The Past Affects the Present in Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay - Toni Morrison is one of the most prominent writers within the Post-Aesthetic movement (Napierkowski). Mirroring their increased presence in politics, African Americans also became highly visible as writers during the 1960s. Harlem Renaissance writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston had been prominent in the 1920s, while Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison achieved both literary and popular acclaim in the 1940s and 1950s. Many of these works were popular because of the way they were able to interpret the black experience for a white audience....   [tags: Literature, Race]
:: 6 Works Cited
2100 words
(6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Analysis of Beloved, by Tony Morrison - Beloved is a novel written by Tony Morrison and is based on the American Civil War. The plot of the novel is based on the effects, consequences and the results of the Civil War. The author uses characters that would effectively bring out the Civil War theme in terms of social circles and occupations in the society. The novel is based on the characters regarded as slaves or have undergone capture, slavery and escaped from their masters (Haskins & Haskins 13). The main character in the novel, Sethe is a former slave and she underwent cruel times under her master....   [tags: Literary Analysis of Beloved]
:: 3 Works Cited
1619 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
America: Our Past, Present, and Future. Essay - America. It was a dream come true in a New World that was envisioned by artists, politicians, and monarchs alike. The ones who believed that anything could be achieved by God, the mind, and manpower. Even through opposition from governments, kingdoms, nobles, and naysayers, these brave individuals strived to establish a better life for themselves and their families, aimed to retain a secure future in the process, and wanted to worship God in their own way. They had the courage to cross unknown oceans and territories, sail miles and miles away from the comforts and familiarities of home, and set out to create a new lifestyle in a great land they had never known....   [tags: America] 1278 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Importance of the Past in Toni Morrison's Beloved -   "The future was sunset; the past something to leave behind. And if it didn't stay behind, well, you might have to stomp it out. Slave life; freed life-every day was a test and a trial. Nothing could be counted on in a world where even when you were a solution you were a problem"1 The past is something that, without clinical illness, is impossible to forget. No matter how horrific or emotionally damaging, it cannot be changed. What we chose to do with this memory of the past will shape our future....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
2275 words
(6.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Haunting of Mind Essay - The Haunting of Mind The ghosts made their presence known at 9:36 p.m. the first evening. Later in life, when Rachel Fleischman thought back on the events at the house, she marveled that the exact time was so firmly set in her mind. She wasn't wearing a watch, and didn't recall asking anyone else the time. She remembered, almost as if the presences told her, wanting her to remember for their sake, and for the sake of posterity. The four of them sat around the table in the kitchen of the haunted house....   [tags: The Haunting of Mind Essays] 1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Haunting Past in Faulkner's A Rose of Emily Essay - A Haunting Past In William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” Miss Emily Grierson holds on to the past with a grip of death. Miss Emily seems to reside in her own world, untarnished by the present time around her, maintaining her homestead as it was when her father was alive. Miss Emily’s father, the manservant, the townspeople, and even the house she lives in, shows that she remains stuck in the past incapable and perhaps reluctant to face the present. At the beginning of the story, the reader learns that Miss Emily “is portrayed as ’a fallen monument,’… because she has shown herself susceptible to death (and decay) after all” (West 264)....   [tags: essays research papers] 1142 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Beloved by Morrison Essay - Beloved by Morrison Beloved is the tale of an escaped slave, Sethe, who is trying to achieve true freedom. Unfortunately, though she is no longer in servitude to a master, she is chained to her "hainted" past. Morrison effectively depicts the shattered lives of Sethe, her family, fellow former slaves, and the community through a unique writing style. The narrative does not follow a traditional, linear plot line. The reader discovers the story of Sethe through fragments from the past and present that Morrison reveals and intertwines in a variety of ways....   [tags: Morrison Beloved Book Review] 1161 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Supernatural in Toni Morrison's Beloved - The Supernatural in Beloved One aspect in the novel Beloved is the presence of a supernatural theme. The novel is haunted. The characters are haunted by the past, the choices made, by tree branches growing on backs, by infanticide, by slavery. Sethe, Denver and Paul D are haunted by the past that stretches and grasps them in 124 in its extended digits. A haunt, Beloved, encompasses another supernatural realm, that of a vampire. She sucks the soul, heart and mind of her mother while draining the relationships that exists between Denver and Sethe and Sethe and Paul D....   [tags: Toni Morrison Beloved Essays] 900 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Toni Morrison's Beloved Essay - Toni Morrison's Beloved Throughout the novel Beloved, there are numerous and many obvious reoccurring themes and symbols. While the story is based off of slavery and the aftermath of the horrible treatment of the slaves, it also breaches the subject of the supernatural....   [tags: Morrison Beloved] 1249 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Beloved - Beloved is a novel set in Ohio during 1873, several years after the Civil War. The book centers on characters that struggle to keep their painful recollections of the past at bay. The whole story revolves around issues of race, gender, family relationships and the supernatural, covering two generations and three decades up to the 19th century. Concentrating on events arising from the Fugitive Slave Act of 1856, it describes the consequences of an escape from slavery for Sethe, her children and Paul D....   [tags: essays research papers] 1045 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]