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Transcript of Beloved
Characteristics of the Genre
As a contemporary novel, Beloved also resembles the ghost story, a mystery, and a work of historical fiction. Morrison's novel is steeped in the popular black culture, its music and folklore. Her novels juxtapose and combine joy and pain, laughter and tears, and love and death. These same combinations are the essence of blues, jazz, and spirituals. The tradition of black female writers is also aa strong factor - Phyllis Wheatley and Lucy Terry (1st published black females in America who were also slaves), Zora Neale Hurson (Harlem Renaissance) and Maya Angelou and Alice Walker (Women't Rights Movement and Black Rights Movement). She relies heavily on both oral tradition and the slave narrative. Writing in the 20th century, Toni Morrison's purpose is still a corrective one: the history of slavery must not be forgotten. Her purpose is to 'fill in the blanks that the traditional slave narrative left.'
The Cotton Gin
Machine that allowed for cotton to be separated from the seeds much faster and with less wasted cotton. Caused for the slave industry to be significantly expanded, nearly tripling in size in under five years.
Toni Morrison, born Chloe Anthony Wofford, was born February 18, 1931 in Lorian, Ohio.
Fugitive Slave woman that killed her children rather than having them taken back into slavery. "Beloved" is loosely based on this individual.
Fugitive Slave Law
Allowed for the reclamation of runaway slaves that had managed to escape from captivity. This was facillitated by claiming ownership of any individual that was black. By a white individual of course.
Dred Scott Case
This court case decreed that all black individuals were not considered U.S Citizens nor would they have the capacity to be citizens.
Proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's slaves and succeeded in immediately freeing approximately 50 thousand of them.
Abolished all forms of slavery and servitude that did not provide a form of compensation to the worker.
Ku Klux Clan
A radical series of related organizations in the United States that have advocated white supremacy, anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, racism, homophobia, anti-Communism and nativism.
Period of rebuilding the United States, particularly the South, after the civil war. This is a period that is marked by social and cultural tension as well as bouts of violence.
Morrison's mother was Ramah Wofford. She moved to Ohio with her husband George. She didn't have a job but she was an active church goer and sang in the choir of the church they attended.
George Wofford was Morrison's father. He was a hardworking man who escaped from the South to avoid racism. He and his wife moved to Ohio where he found work at a ship yard. He often held 3 jobs so he could support his family.
Education and Career
Morrison loved to learn, she graduated from Lorian High School in 1949.
She graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C.
She majored in English and
minored in Classics
Attended Cornell University for her Masters degree.
Masters of Arts having written a thesis on suicide based off William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf.
English Instructor at Texas Southern Univeristy
She returned to Howard University as a teacher of English.
In May 2011, Morrison received an
Honorable Doctor of Letters Degree
from Rutgers University during
commencement where she delivered a
speech of the "pursuit of life, liberty, meaningfulness, integrity, and truth".
She is currently a member of the
editorial board of The Nation magazine.
Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize with her book Beloved in 1988. She also won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.
Morrison uses the present tense throughout Beloved, although the narrative spans a period of some fifty years. Moreover, the readers are often denied vital knowledge. The shifting voice of the narrator, which flits in and out of different characters’ thoughts, conveys a similar process of defamiliarisation for the reader. In the section two there are four sections that represent the interior monologues of Sethe, Denver, and Beloved. The language in these sections are highly repetitive and circular. This style is called stream of consciousness. She plays with repetition, a musical device, repeating memories over and images. She uses numerous metaphors that are self-reflective, referring a context and experiences already established by the novel.
Morrison married Harold Morrison
Toni and Harold have two children together, Slade and Harold.
The Dehuminazation Of Slaves
The Mother Figure
Community & Family
The Burden Of the Past
Water & Liquids
They divorced in 1964. She never did remarry.
1. Paul D`s time in prison.
2.Sethe`s milk being taken by white men.
3. The driving away of Sethe from Sweet Home.
Sethe, a slave from Kentucky, is caught attempting to escape herself after sending off her children to freedom. She is then held down and milked as she is still nursing one child and is approximately nine months pregnant. On her way to freedom she meets with Amy Denver, a white girl who helps deliver the baby in the Ohio River. She is then escorted by Stamp Paid to Baby Suggs', her mother in law, home. Here Sethe manages to enjoy 28 days of her freedom until her prior owner, Schoolteacher, comes back to repossess his property. Sethe rushes to the woodshed in order to kill her family and then finally herself. She succeeds in knocking two of her children unconscious, slitting the throat of one and is preparing to smash the youngest into a pillar before she is stopped. After the immediate fallout of this event is dealt with, 124 becomes haunted. Paul D from Sweet Home, where Sethe escaped from, exorcises the baby and becomes part of Sethe and Denver's family. Beloved is then introduced into the story. The true nature of Beloved is unknown but Sethe is convinced that she is the reincarnation of the dead daughter. Sethe then manages to quite methodically become more reclusive and separate herself completely from the community leading Denver to seek help from the community. The community rallies around Denver to assist Sethe. The ending shall remain to be found.
Marriage and Children
4. Paul D pointing out that Sethe is an animal
5. The withering away of Sethe`s body
A contemporary novel published in 1987 by Toni Morrison
1. There are multiple Pauls.
1. Sethes love for her children causing her to kill them.
2. Baby Suggs acting as a Holy Mother figure
3. Halle worked and slaved to free his mother.
4.Beloved`s coming back to haunt her mother
5. Paul D and Sethe`s lack of really knowing their mothers
1. Beloved haunting Sethe
2.The decay of Sethe from dwelling on the past
3. Beloved ask Sethe about things from her past.
4. Beloved going crazy
5. The tree on Sethe`s back
1. Sethe`s will to keep her children safe
1. Sethe`s will to keep her children safee
3. The lack of closeness of Paul D Sethe and the rest of the black community
Beloved is set during an appalling period in America's history; the years before, during, and immediately after the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, life was still dreadful for black people whether slaves or freed. While the action of the novel covers only a brief time, by use of flashback approximately 50 years is covered. Although other places are mentioned, the two major settings are Sweet Home in Kentucky and 124 Bluestone Road outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
4. The community delivering food to Denver
5.Community wanting to protect Sethe from Beloved
1. Sethe's water breaking when she sees Beloved
The Bluest Eyes
Song of Solomon
2. The crossing of the Ohio River
3. Denver`s drinking of both milk and blood
4. Beloved rising up from the waters
Sethe's friend from Sweet Home.
Saves Sethe and her family by coming to help.
5. The flood that washes through the prison Paul D is in.
Rescues Sethe after she escapes.
Looks after Sethe's family and saves Denver's life.
Mr. Garner's wife.
Gives Sethe diamonds as a wedding present.
Doesn't show up to escape.
2. Beloved never getting a real name besides girl already crawling.
Takes over after Mr. Garner.
3. Beloved`s actual name, symbolic of being loved.
Demoralizes slaves in every way.
Pulls Sethe off of Mr. Bodwin.
4.Denver is named because of the person who helped Sethe give birth to her.
Teacher in Cincinnatti.
Denver seeks work from her.
5. Paul D. just having a letter after his name.
Paul D's Tobacco Tin
Teaches former slaves about self worth.
Preaches in the Clearing
Believed to be Sethe's reincarniated daughter.
Represents his cold heart and inability to love anything. Is rusted shut, however Beloved manages to "remove" the rust.
Physically drains Sethe's life from her. Inhibits Sethe from moving on from her past.
Former Slave, Mother
Tried to kill her four children. Succeded with one.
One of the Sweet Home men.
Chants "Seven-O" as he was being burned alive because he made a child with the Thirty-Mile Woman
Old AP Questions
The only one of Sethe's children she still has with her.
Saves her family by seeking help at the end.
Owner of Sweet Home.
Dies and is succeeded by Schoolteacher
Beloved Has been listed on Question #3the following years: 1990, 1999, 2001, 2002(B) and 2003.
Represents a burden and marks of slavery. In other words represents the distinguishing characteristics of those who are slaves(Black slaves)
Brother and sister who live in Cincinnatti.
Give Sethe work when she goes for help.
Whitegirl that saves Sethe by helping her escape.
Helps Deliver Sethe's fourth child, Denver, in the Ohio River
Choose a novel or play that depicts a conflict between a parent (or a parental figure) and a son or daughter. Write an essay in which you analyze the sources of the conflict and explain how the conflict contributes to the meaning of the work.
1999-The eighteenth-century British novelist Laurence Sterne wrote, "No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man's mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time." From a novel or play choose a character (not necessarily the protagonist) whose mind is pulled in conflicting directions by two compelling desires, ambitions, obligations, or influences. Then, in a well-organized essay, identify each of the two conflicting forces and explain how this conflict within one character illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole.
Represents rebirth and new life. Examples include:
1. Beloved coming out of the water as flesh
2. Denver being born in the Ohio River
3. Cincinatti is a "city of water"
2001-One definition of madness is “mental delusion or the eccentric behavior arising from it.” But Emily Dickinson wrote: “Much madness is divinest sense— / To a discerning Eye—” Novelists and playwrights have often seen madness with a “discerning Eye.” Select a novel or play in which a character’s apparent madness or irrational behavior plays an important role. Then write a well-organized essay in which you explain what this delusion or eccentric behavior consists of and how it might be judged reasonable. Explain the significance of the “madness” to the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.
2002-Morally ambiguous characters—characters whose behavior discourages readers from identifying them as purely evil or purely good—are at the heart of many works of literature. Choose a novel or play in which a morally ambiguous character plays a pivotal role. Then write an essay in which you explain how the character can be viewed as morally ambiguous and why his or her moral ambiguity is significant to the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary
Represents a connection between life and the afterlife. Beloved references bridges throughout the story. This lends some credence to the idea that she is a reincarnation.
2003-According to critic Northrop Frye, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning.” Select a novel or play in which a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others. Then write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by the figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.
124 Bluestone Road
Represents freedom and a new life. However as the novel displays, no slave will truly ever be free.
Lot's wife was instructed to not look back during their escaoe from Sodom and Gomorrah. When she did she was turned into a pillar of salt. This relates to Paul D and Beloved. Paul D becomes transfixed and under Beloved's control when he looks at her.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
When Schoolteacher arrives at 124 Morrison describes him and his posse as the four horsemen. Bringing unimaginable strife and torment.
Loaves and Fishes
7 Deadly Sins (Pride)
When confronted by Paul D about "the Misery" Sethe refuses to even consider that there may have been another less violent and perhaps more effective option than murder and suicide.
When a party is thrown at 124 it seems that there was an endless supply of food that was created by Baby Suggs. For example, making so many pies from two buckets of berries.
The Concept of Freedom
The Power Of Memory
Morals in a Morally Corrupt Society
The True Meaning and Limitations of Language
The Power of Community