"Beloved" and the Burden of the Past Analytical Essay by Shaad

"Beloved" and the Burden of the Past
An analysis of Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved" in the context of slavery's past.
# 146949 | 1,024 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2010 | BD
Published by on Jan 30, 2011 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (Slavery)

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This paper analyzes Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved" from the point of view that disengagement with the past is the true path to self-liberation. The paper describes how many infer the opposite interpretation from this work, that the author is advocating a more vigorous engagement with the past in order to deal with it finally and lay it to rest. But, the paper shows that the character of "Beloved", though representative of a horrific past, does in no way resurrect that past. The paper clearly demonstrates how Morrison advocates that we must overcome the past if we hope to exercise control over our future.

From the Paper:

"In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison broaches on the theme of overcoming the fixity of the past. This is in the context of the Black American who finds identification only through a constant reference to the past of slavery. The author is making the point that the dead weight of the past is a debilitating burden, and that it holds back from an engagement with the vital present. To live in the vital present is also to look forward. Therefore, the central message of the novel is that, however traumatic the past, there is no looking back. Sociological and psychological challenges are there to be overcome, but they should not become an excuse to hold on to what has gone before. The crucial factor is the orientation of our vision, whether it is forward or backward looking. In other words, the author offers the choice between sentimentality and hope, and advocates the latter."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Vintage International, 2004.
  • Sievers, Stefanie. Liberating narratives: the authorization of black female voices in African American women writers' novels of slavery. LIT Verlag Munster, 1999.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

"Beloved" and the Burden of the Past (2011, January 30) Retrieved March 25, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/beloved-and-the-burden-of-the-past-146949/

MLA Format

""Beloved" and the Burden of the Past" 30 January 2011. Web. 25 March. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/beloved-and-the-burden-of-the-past-146949/>