Beloved | Study Guide

Toni Morrison

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Toni Morrison's Beloved. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

beloved-toni-morrison_UPDATESources: Baltimore Sun, Encyclopaedia Britannica, New York TimesCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.AuthorBelovedby the NumbersDays of freedom before Sethe murders her child28Year Beloved was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for FictionYear Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature1993Year a film version starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover was released19981988HONORISAWARDED BY COLUMBIA UNIVERSITYGAUSARaised in a diverse community in Ohio, Morrison developed a deep understanding of the oral and folk traditions of African American culture. Beloved embodies Morrison's belief that novels preserve the history of black people, which had previously been maintained through oral tradition.TONI MORRISONBORN 1931DenverSethe's 10-year-old daughterBelovedDeceased daughter, haunts house in form of young womanRomantic RelationshipFamilyMurdersPaul DSethe's friend from Sweet HomeSetheProtagonist, escaped slave, murders infant daughter Baby SuggsSethe's grandmother, voice from the pastMain CharactersThemesSethe, Chapter 9reeing yourself is one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.124Toni Morrison's Beloved tells the story of Sethe, an escaped slave who murders her own infant daughter rather than allow the child to grow up in slavery. Her past returns to haunt her home and family as a ghost of Beloved, the dead infant.Journey to FreedomSYMBOLS124The house number represents the fact that Beloved (Sethe's third child) is dead.TreesThe trees are a place of safety but also symbolize hiding, darkness, fears, and haunting.WaterWater crossings mark important events, including Sethe's escape to freedom and Beloved's rebirth in human form.IdentitySethe struggles to regain her identity, which was nearly destroyed by slavery.Past vs. PresentSethe tries to reconcile the horrors and pain of the past with a haunted present.GuiltSethe survived slavery but murdered her infant daughter to save her from it.BelovedShe symbolizes slavery, a link to the past that still enslaves Sethe emotionally.Toni Morrison1987EnglishNovel AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageDramaBeloved

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