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4MorrisPynchon - 1 TONI MORRISON(1931 Nobel prize and...

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TONI MORRISON (1931) Nobel prize and Pulitzer prize author, edintor and professor. Her novels are known for epic themes, vivid dialogue, richly detailed black characters. Born in Lorain, Ohio, working class family. She read constantly as a child; favorites – jane austen and leo Tolstoy; entered howard uni to study English and received B.A. there; her father told her numerous folktales of the black community; married Harold Morrison (Jamaican architect and colleague at univers). Beloved is set in 1873, on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio. Sethe and her daughter Denver live alone in the house at 124. We learn right away that Sethe's two sons, Buglar and Howard, had run away years before and that Sethe's mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, is dead. Furthermore, we know that 124 is haunted. The story begins when Paul D., a man from Sethe's past, shows up on their porch unexpectedly. The tone of the novel Beloved is dark. One example of how Morrison sets the tone occurs when she writes about Sethe's soul. She writes, "Counting on the stillness of her own soul, she had forgotten the other one: the soul of her baby girl" (Morrison, p. 5). The story that unfolds is that of a murdered child. Morrison forces the reader to come to terms with its unholy facts and non-facts. Morrison suggests through her writing that there was more than one wrong committed. Slavery was the real culprit behind a child's death. through the different voices and memories of the book, including that of Sethe's mother, a survivor of the infamous slave-ship crossing, we experience American slavery as it was lived by those who were its objects of exchange, both at its best--which wasn't very good--and at its worst, which was as bad as can be imagined. Above all, it is seen as one of the most vicious antifamily institutions human beings have ever devised. The slaves are motherless, fatherless, deprived of their mates, their children, their kin. It is a world in which people suddenly vanish and are never seen again, not through accident or covert operation or terrorism, but as a matter of everyday legal policy. Sethe: Sethe is the character in the novel who kills her daughter rather than see her return to slavery. Sethe is also a daughter who only knew her own mother as the woman in the field with a felt hat. She is the character in the novel who has to confront her past and also the character who experiences the most change. I see Sethe as the protagonist of Beloved [WW]. Sethe is representative of many slaves. She is a runaway slave and through "re-memories" she represents slaves during their time of internment as property of white owners. Her hardships are demonstrations of what many slaves may have endured. 1
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Denver is Sethe's surviving daughter. This young African American seems to embody the consciousness of decedents of those who suffered as slaves. Her life began during her mother's escape, so she is not privy to the immediate knowledge of what the slaves were subjected to. She
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