An offshoot of the universal literary tree, Toni Morrison — for all her feminism and her historical, cultural, and social background — shares much with the white male writers who have also delineated journeys of the spirit. As in Henry James's Turn of the Screw , her characters in Beloved confront an elusive ghost, which deprives Sethe of the ability to nest and to know contentment. Sharing an obsession with social injustice with John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, Morrison's novel recreates an emotional landscape that moves beyond historic fact to individual suffering. Not unlike Rosasharn Joad, Sethe communicates maternal love through breast milk. Mirroring the despair of William Styron's Sophie's Choice, Beloved details a clinging ambivalence fed on a past so lurid and unrelenting that it will give the suffering mother no respite. In Styron's novel,
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