Toni Morrison and Beloved Essay

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Toni Morrison was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved, a novel whose popularity and worth earned her the Nobel Prize in literature the first ever awarded to a black female author. Born in the small town of Larain, Ohio, in 1931, to George and Ramah Willis Wofford, Morrison's birth name is Chloe Anthony Wofford (Gates and Appiah ix). Morrison describes the actions of her central character in Beloved, as: the ultimate love of a mother; the outrageous claim of a slave. In this statement we find an expression of the general themes of Morrison's mainly naturalistic works. One of these is the burden of the past or history (i.e. slavery and being black in a predominantly white controlled society). Another is the…show more content…
However, Morrison would grow past the pain and torment of an oppressive and racist society through the cultivation of her self through love and endurance. Like the father in August Wilson's Fences, her father grew to hate because he was only subjected to hate in the environment around him. Sethe, the main character in Beloved, will also undergo a journey of exorcising hatred and violence from her soul in order to find love with Paul D. Morrison's maternal influence also affected her development and work. From the women in her life Morrison learned authority of the self, one she says she felt in her mother's, grandmother's and great-grandmother's relationships more than she does in her own:

The word 'Comrade' comes to mind in regard to the marriages I knew. I didn't find imbalance or unevenness in these relationships. I don't think that my mother's talents were hidden from males or white society, actually-they were very much on display. So I don't feel a tension there, or the struggle for dominance. The same was true for my grandparents-my mother's parents-whom I knew. I remember my great-grandmother, too. Her husband died before I was born, but I remember that when my great-grandmother walked into a room her grandsons and her nephews stood up...Yes I feel the authority of those women more than I do my own.

(Gates et

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