The incorporation of slavery in his ancestor by the author revives history and its effects on the narrator. The novel deals with the 1960’s as well as connecting to the past through Sweetie’s letter to the president. We are introduced to issues such as the War on Poverty and student revolts, along with African American concerns. In addition, Forrest’s indulgence of various historical events are purposed to evoke the moods of darkness and fear. The detailed episodes of the Great Flood, Middle Passage, and the migration of African-Americans, along with the vision of a black Mary under a tree more ancient than Eden, invokes the conscious acknowledgement of the suffering of the black race from centuries ago.
Adaptation of Modern African-American Writers Modern writers learn from the past by reading works written by authors of that particular era. Contemporary African-American writers gain knowledge and insight into the horrendous and sometimes harmonious conditions that plagued Africans during slavery and the slave trade. By reading the actual words, thoughts, and feelings of these enslaved Africans, modern writers receive information from the perspective of the victimized. Lucille Clifton's "slaveship" is a vivid example of a contemporary writer borrowing from the past to depict another account of the slave trade. The fact that Clifton's father told her stories about her family's struggle and she, herself, traced her lineage back to Dahomey, West Africa helped to impact the tone, ideas, and imagery used in her poem.
2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW Since the late 1970s, there has been a strong focus on Morrison’s representation of African American slave experience and history in America. For Morrison, writing these works is a means of healing or recovery; she vividly depicts the experiences of these slaves, their history, loss of identity and self-esteem in her works. A writer like Susan Bowers places Morrison in a long tradition of African American apocalyptic writing that looks back in time unveiling the horrors of the past in order to transform them (209). Morrison therefore exposes the past lives of these slaves, how they were treated as slaves in America and the effect it had on them. Kirby notes that she is able to portray this experience vividly in her works
In this essay, I will be examining the works of two authors on the topic of slavery in America: Ulrich B. Phillips American Negro Slavery (1918) and Toni Morrison Beloved (1987). One writes as a Southerner and a historian who is defending southern slaveholders and draws upon contemporary racial theory to justify the system as beneficial to African Americans. The other writes as an African-American woman who is looking to write women into history and in doing so, add a female voice to the past. The purpose of comparing these two texts is to bring awareness that historical knowledge is constructed and not a given and that the profile of the author influences the content of their work. When examining the history of slavery in America, we have a number of different sources to draw on.
A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory (3rd ed.). London and New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Simms, M. (2003). Introduction to Written Texts Eng00400: Study Guide. Lismore: Southern Cross University.
6.1-2 (1995): 35-45. Furhman, Jan. Toni Morrison's Fiction. South Carolina: U of South Carolina P, 1996. Middleton, David. Toni Morrison's Fiction: Contemporary Criticism.
In her 1987 novel Beloved, Toni Morrison explores the complexity of slave life and its influence on motherhood and family interaction. Morrison utilizes the some aspects of Frederick Douglass’s 1845 Autobiography to create her account of slavery but that is where the similarity ends. Beloved is a neo slave narrative and like other neo slave narratives it attempt to “rip the veil drawn over proceedings too terrible to relate” (Morrison, XV- XIX). Neo slave narratives expose what writers of slave narratives could not portray or wanted to forget. Slave narrative is a literary genre that sought to abolish slavery while neo slave narratives seek to reconcile with the past.
The social focus was what presented the first twenty-one years of Douglass?s life in a way that allowed it to serve as a weapon for abolitionism. William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips recognized the public perspective, both of which wrote prefatory material to the Narrative. I... ... middle of paper ... ...hen reading Frederick Douglass?s Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass it is important to take in to account the time period in which it was written, who the author was and their background, and the purpose that the work was written for. Douglass was a slave and an abolitionist who wrote about his life for two reasons, to give the facts and to convince people that slavery was wrong. The way he wrote both parts are intertwined so that they compliment and support each other it exist as a work of abolitionist propaganda and as an historical source.