Slavery as a Gothic Narrative

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Slavery as a Gothic Narrative Slavery can be considered a gothic narrative because it holds elements of a typical gothic piece. Some of those elements include some form of psychological or physical haunting, an atmosphere of mystery, and supernatural events that cannot be explained. By looking at Beloved by Toni Morrison there lies evidence to why slavery fits in the gothic setting. When first reading the novel the initial understanding of the story is a mother murdered her child in an act to protect her and the child later haunts her family until the mother overcomes her hardship. Digging deeper into the narrative we learn that slavery is the underlying cause of the story’s conflict. Causing emotional distraught in the characters understanding of self and their own social roles we see them struggling to form their own sense of identity. Slavery served as a form of haunting during the time of enslavement for Sethe and Paul D and during post slavery times of supposed freedom. Something is considered haunting when a certain event, person, or thing is constantly appearing in the mind of a person to the point they cannot forget what occurred. For Sethe this haunting is very severe. She has the account of her broken relationship with her mother haunting her ideals of what it means to be a mother.
“I didn't see her but a few times out in the fields and once when she was working indigo. By the time I woke up in the morning, she was in line. If the moon was bright they worked by
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