Black Culture In Toni Morrison's Beloved

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Black Culture in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

African-American author Toni Morrison, in her novel, Beloved, explores the experience and roles of black men and women in a racist society. She describes the black culture which is born out of a period of slavery just after the Civil War. In her novel she intends to show the reality of what happened to the slaves in the institutionalized slave system. In Beloved, the slaves working on the Sweet Home experiences brutality, violence, torture and are treated like animals. Morrison shows us what it means to live like a slave as she sheds light on the painful past of African-Americans and reveals the buried experiences for better understanding of African-American history. In the story of Beloved, special importance is given to the horrors and tortures of slavery to remind the readers about the American past. Morrison reinvents the past because she does not want the readers to forget what happened in African-American history.
Morrison’s critically acclaimed novel Beloved probes the most painful part of the African American heritage, slavery, by way of what she has called “rememory” -- deliberately reconstructing what has been forgotten.
(Kubitschek, Missy Dehn. Toni Morrison: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Press, 1998 p. 115)
Morrison represents the past of African-Americans from her own perspective drawing attention to what slavery can do to individuals and their families. Because of the experiences of slavery, most slaves repressed their memories in an attempt to forget the past. When they repressed their memories of the past it causes them to lose a sense of self and their true identity. Sethe, Paul D. and Denver, all experience this loss of self, which can only be remedied when they all accept the past and their memories of self. Beloved serves as a reminder to these three characters of their buried memories, eventually causing them to rebuild themselves.
This novel gives a very realistic picture of slavery of the African-Americans. Marriage and Slave families were rarely recognized by the slaveholders. When slaves did get married, the risk of being separated was always there because of the economic needs of the slaveholders. Although, childbearing was encouraged, so
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