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Beloved by: Toni Morrison

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Jonathan Muchuma

on 7 December 2013

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Transcript of Beloved by: Toni Morrison

By: Toni Morrison

Characters and Foils

Red, played by Morgan Freeman, is in need of redemption after commiting a murder and being sentenced to prison. Through interaction with Tim Robinson's character, Andy Dufresne, Red exhibtis a change in his life which essentialy grants him his freedom.

On the other hand, Tim Robinson's character, Andy Dufresne, is an innocent man who is convicted for the murder of his wife and her lover. After being sentenced to two consecutive life sentences Andy Dufresne decides to escape from the prison. In due process, he changes the lives of the people around him including the Warden. Andy succeeds in his escape.

The Margaret Garner Incident (1856)
Margaret Garner - Born on June 4, 1834 in Maplewood Plantation, Boone County, Kentucky.

Center of the most prominent fugitive slave trials of the pre-Civil war era.

Reason: She birthed four children whom she attempted slaughter with a butcher knife in fear of returning to slavery.

Fugitive Slave Laws of 1850
Citizens had to help federal marshals with capturing runaway slaves.

Slaves could be captured in any state in the United States.

Slaves had no right to a fair/jury trial or to testify on behalf of themselves. Cases would instead be handled by special commisioners.
Runaway slave
Had four children
Diligent and Caring
Doesn't let go of her past/rememory
Child murdered by Sethe when she was two years of age.
Haunts 124 Bluestone Rd.
She physically manifests in the flesh.
Craves Sethe's attention
She is the catalyst that sets all the redemption for Sethe and the community into motion.

Sethe's only child that stays with her
She has love but an innate fear for her mother since her mother is a murderer.
Goes through a personal development from the beginning of the story to the end.
She is initially fond of Beloved but gradually becomes jealous of her.
Fellow runaway slave who was recaptured
Escapes again, for good, and reunites with Sethe.
He is not a settler; constantly moving to and from 124
Deals with his past by hiding his emotions from everyone
He too is trying to cope with his past and rememory
An autonomous style of literature (free-thinkers).

A writing style and genre of fiction; used as a post-colonial device especially in Beloved.
Post-Colonial devices...

Magical Realism is a mix of the realistic and the untrue, the unbelievable and fantastical implemented in the realistic.
It may be looked at as the
at times though the two devices vary significantly.

In literature and art, Magical Realism is evident by:
Authorial Reticence
Supernatural and Natural
Women are closely associated with water which symbolizes birth and renewal.
Denver is born on the Ohio River
Beloved is also reincarnated through water and returns to it.
Blossoms and Woods
Freedom (American Dream)
Paul D's escape to freedom
Denver's place to be alone
Baby Suggs's meeting place
Pages 323-324 "Beloved"
There is a loneliness that can be rocked...
knees up, arms crossed
Scene ry and grotesque elements
the smile under her chin
wrapped tight like skin
the girl who cry's shame "erupts"
latch latched and lichen attached
The speech of the people
Beloved's Memory
Carl Jung's "Collective Unconscious"

Redemption in Pursuit of Happyness
Work Cited
“Collective Unconscious.” The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Houghton Mifflin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. Credo Reference. Web. 23 November 2013.

"Fugitive Slave Act of 1793." Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 2007. Credo Reference. 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

"Fugitive Slave Act of 1850." Gale Encyclopedia of American Law. Ed. Donna Batten. 3rd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 14-15. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.

"Garner, Margaret." Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 2007. Credo Reference. 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.

Moore, Lindsay. "Magical Realism." Postcolonial Studies @ Emory. N.p., July 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Alfread A. Knopf, 1987. Print.

The Pursuit of Happyness. Dir. Gabriele Muccino. By Steve Conrad. Perf. Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith. Colomibia Pictures Corporation, 2006.

The Shawshank Redemption. Dir. Frank Darabont. By Stephen King. Perf. Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton. Castle Rock Entertainment, 1994. DVD.

Her daughter died, the rest of the children were wounded but alive.

Though arrested and charged with murder, she was never sentenced. Federal marshals were unable to serve an arrest warrant for Margaret and she never got a second trial.

Toni Morrison based Beloved's main character, Sethe, on Margaret Garner's story.

Because of the Fugitive Slave Act, the Underground Railroad became more active, reaching its peak between 1850 and 1860.

The Fugitive Slave Act and the Compromise of 1850 made slavery a prominent subject in the nation which essentially divided the country.

In Beloved:
Sethe is a runaway slave in 1873.

With respect to the timeline, Sethe's story
would be negatively impacted due to the
Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and which in
essence was.

Fear of slavery force her to murder her
Sethe escapes from Sweet Home a plantation in Kentucky.

Sethe arrives at 124 Bluestone Rd.

Sethe decides to kill her four children to protect them from slavery. She succeeds with only one, Beloved.

Beloved reappears. She is a physical manifestation of the poltergeist which haunts 124.

Sethe takes in Beloved who begins to form a relationship with the family; Denver, Sethe and Paul D.

The relationship among the females of 124 becomes stirred when Beloved diverts Sethe's attention.

Denver starts assuming the responsibilities in the house.

The community also gets involved in assisting the family at 124. They provide food, and perform an exorcism among other things.

: The act of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

In Literature
: Moral arc of main character(s) going from bad to good.
Who is redeemed in Beloved?
Character of Sethe
Will Smith's character, Chris
Gardner is redeemed from
a life of poverty by becoming a succesful businessman.
Redemption in Shawshank Redemption
Examples of Redemption Stories
Both Slaves and runaways once captured but now free.
They both care for each other
Both are birthed by Sethe
Both care for Sethe
Emotional States
Emotional States
Relationship with Beloved
Settler vs. Roamer
Character Foils
Examples of Magical Realism in Beloved:

"Straight into a pool of red and undulating light.....what kind of Evil you got in here?" (Morrison 10).

Beloved's return and existence in the novel.
The seasons display the mood of the book.
Fall: Downfall (Right before Beloved's comeback
Winter: Bad things to happen, cold, death, hopelessness
Spring: Renewal, birth. (Beloved's exorcism)

Biblical Allusions
Four Horsemen
Stamp Paid picking blackberries
Forbidden Fruit
Historical References
Comparing lives to the Indians: Cherokee
Scars on Sethe's back/Hanging fruit
Tobacco Tin Heart
Paul D's shutting out of emotions
Red Light/Red Colored Ribbon
Death, haunting, "evil"
Symbol of Rebirth (Even after death)
Sethe compared to cattle, an animal
The "loud" House at 124 Bluestone Rd.

In essence, the idea of nature as a safe haven for the African American community at the time is emphasized throughout the novel. Historically, this is also true with the Native Americans.
Any Questions??????
More on Magical Realism. . .

From Postcolonial Studies @ Emory:

The term “magical realism” was first introduced by Franz Roh, a German art critic, who considered magical realism an art category. To him, it was a way of representing and responding to reality and pictorially depicting the enigmas of reality. In Latin America in the 1940s, magical realism was a way to express the realistic American mentality and create an autonomous style of literature.

Elaboration on Evidence:

: Magical realists incorporate many techniques that have been linked to post-colonialism, with hybridity being a primary feature. Specifically, magical realism is illustrated in the inharmonious arenas of such opposites as urban and rural and Western and indigenous. The plots of magical realist works involve issues of borders, mixing, and change. Authors establish these plots to reveal a crucial purpose of magical realism: a more deep and true reality than conventional realist techniques would illustrate such as, American realism and modernism.
Irony Regarding Author’s Perspective
: The writer must have ironic distance from the magical world view for the realism not to be compromised. Simultaneously, the writer must strongly respect the magic, or else the magic dissolves into simple folk belief or complete fantasy, split from the real instead of synchronized with it. The term “magic” relates to the fact that the point of view that the text depicts explicitly is not adopted according to the implied world view of the author. Example: Author of Harry Potter, J K. Rowling.
Authorial Reticence:
Authorial reticence refers to
the lack of clear opinions about the accuracy of events and the credibility of the world views expressed by the characters in the text. This technique promotes acceptance in magical realism. In magical realism, the simple act of explaining the supernatural would eradicate its position of equality regarding a person’s conventional view of reality. Because it would then be less valid, the supernatural world would be discarded as false testimony.
The Supernatural and Natural:
In magical realism, the supernatural is not displayed as questionable. While the reader realizes that the rational and irrational are opposite and conflicting polarities, they are not disconcerted because the supernatural is integrated within the norms of perception of the narrator and characters in the fictional world.
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