ArticlePDF Available

The Impact of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved: From the Communal to the Individual

Authors:

Abstract

Slavery is a condition of extreme physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual deprivation, a kind of hellish life. This paper aims at exploring how the culture of white racism sanctioned not only official systems of discrimination but a complex code of speech, behavior, and social practices designed to make white supremacy not only legitimate but natural and inevitable. In her masterpiece, Beloved (1987), Toni Morrison portrays the dehumanizing effects of slavery on the past and memory of her heroine. Morrison has dedicated her literary career to ensuring that black experience under, and as a result of, slavery would not be left to interpretations solely at the dictates of whites. This study shows how Toni Morrison has succeeded in revealing the physical and psychological damage inflicted on African American people by the brutal inhumanity that constituted American slavery. The paper, in this context, investigates how the memory and the past of the heroine act as destroyers of her motherly existence.
The Impact of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved: From the Communal to the Individual
Mahameed Mohammed*
Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Middle East University, Amman, Jordan
Corresponding Author: Mahameed Mohammed, E-mail: mmahameed67@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT
Slavery is a condition of extreme physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual deprivation,
a kind of hellish life. This paper aims at exploring how the culture of white racism sanctioned
not only ofcial systems of discrimination but a complex code of speech, behavior, and social
practices designed to make white supremacy not only legitimate but natural and inevitable. In
her masterpiece, Beloved (1987), Toni Morrison portrays the dehumanizing effects of slavery on
the past and memory of her heroine. Morrison has dedicated her literary career to ensuring that
black experience under, and as a result of, slavery would not be left to interpretations solely at the
dictates of whites. This study shows how Toni Morrison has succeeded in revealing the physical
and psychological damage inicted on African American people by the brutal inhumanity that
constituted American slavery. The paper, in this context, investigates how the memory and the
past of the heroine act as destroyers of her motherly existence.
Key words: Morrison, Slavery, Consciousness, Trauma, Dehumanization
INTRODUCTION
Slave narratives are important not only for the fact they en-
rich and diversify African American literature, but also be-
cause they reveal the complexities of the dialogue between
Whites and Blacks. The Africa-American experience started
when colonists bought twenty black people from “a Dutch
Man of Warre” Trotter, 2001, p. 58), in Virginia, 1619. White
prejudice started to emerge as the introduction of racial laws
became viable. In 1664, ofcials of Maryland ordered: “that
all Negroes or other Slaves... shall serve Durante Vita and all
children born of any Negro or other slaves shall be slaves as
their fathers were for the term of their lives”. (Holt & Brown,
2000, p. 89). The state of Virginia, given the fact that they
had brought people who had every reason to be deant, en-
dorsed in the late 1600s and early 1700s laws castigating the
Blacks to be punished more severely than others for “being
a brutish sort of people and reckoned as goods and chattels”
(Morgan, 2000, p. 106). With these inhuman laws Virginians
did not spare any chance to oppress the black slaves by de-
nying them even basic rights and inicting upon them severe
punishments.
The idea that Blacks were immoral, dissipated, and com-
pliant occupied the minds of the rst English men who went
to Africa to buy slaves. They misunderstood black practice,
according to tribal traditions and tropical climate, as lustful-
ness. This idea was conrmed as the black women, work-
ing on American farms, often worked bent over. Thus, the
body of a slave woman did not summon any respect, and was
therefore the target of the master who sexually abused his
Published by Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.
Copyright (c) the author(s). This is an open access article under CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.6p.48
black slave girls and women. As this mentality became com-
monly and applicable to many areas of the new continent,
numbers of survivors were less, the thousands of slaves were
sold, transported, and even stripped of their African names.
This dehumanizing process was maintained by white colo-
nists in rural and urban areas to ensure the prosperity and
satisfaction of the white colonists.
When importing slaves became unlawful in1808, re-
sources had already been in danger of drying up. However,
the trafcking of slaves continued, and slaveholders and in-
uential people were benetting from its continuation. But
with these restraints on importing slaves, coupled with the
growing demand for the black labor, there came the need
for female slaves, who were valued for their reproductive
potential. Thus, the slave owner wished “to turn every young
black woman into a brood mare”. (White, 1999, p. 72). This
tendency for reproduction turned slaves into commodities
valued only as merchandise. In the process, much pressure
was exerted on mothers and children in slavery, some pre-
ferred to stay with an implied consent for sexual submis-
sion. Accordingly, in the slave community, women became
the focus of familial relationships, and in such a community
there came the “supremacy of the mother-child bond over all
other relationships”. (White, 1999, p. 275). Female slaves
were compelled, psychologically and physically, to experi-
ence the severe mental and physical pain of slavery. White
masters used all psychological and physical means to force
slaves into obedience, and in the case of black females, this
had the added dimension of sexual submission. Thus, as one
International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature
E-ISSN: 2200-3452 & P-ISSN: 2200-3592
www.ijalel.aiac.org.au
ARTICLE INFO
Article history
Received: April 02, 2018
Accepted: July 19, 2018
Published: November 01, 2018
Volume: 7 Issue: 6
Advance access: September 2018
Conicts of interest: None
Funding: None
The Impact of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved: From the Communal to the Individual 49
may see, over the years of slavery in American, Black peo-
ple were reckoned as animals and commodities, exploited,
abused, and denied basic rights. Till Abolitionists intensied
their campaign in 1865 to rid the country of slavery, when
freed Blacks saw themselves as American.
While African Americans have been part of American
life, participating in, and contributing to, American culture,
the American history of slavery had been consciously con-
signed to oblivion. Toni Morrison, one of the most signicant
voices of her race and age, observes that “We were seldom
invited to participate in the discourse, even when we were
its topic.” (Morrison, Beloved, 1987, p. 111). As people who
did not write their history, African Americans have always
felt the need for a sense of knowing their past in order to nd
a viable association with the present and future. Morrison
understands her mission to be recovering and reconstructing
the experiences of these people “Because if we do not know.
.. what our past is … if we Third-World women in American
do not know it, then, it is not known by anybody at all. And
somebody has to tell somebody something.” (Morrison, Be-
loved, 1987, p. 59).
DISCUSSION
A growing interest in African American studies and black
writing, in general, emanated from the Civil Rights and
Black Power monuments of the 1960s and the 1970s. Toni
Morrison’s major pre-occupation in literature has always
been to what Morrison’s narratives private lives that form
the experience of a community. What Morrison’s narratives,
in particular, try to convey is the idea that there is more than
one type of knowledge, and that it is necessary to accept dif-
ferent modes is not based on the factual but on the aural and
the visual. Thus, she has embarked upon showing how an
African American author tackles the institution of slavery.
Slavery is horrible for men, but it is more horrible for
women, it inicted harm upon families, where men and
women had suffered. The concept of family, in the tradition-
al sense, was not even perceived before 1865 among black
communities. “Slavery not only inhibited family formation
but made stable, secure family life difcult if not impossi-
ble” (Williams, 2017, p. 1). In the consciousness of many
African-American women, under slavery and after, there
implanted an image of a horrible part, reminding them of
degrading submission. Sexual abuse was one of the cruelest
hardships endured by enslaved African-Americans, practices
by their slaveholders. Enslaved women were forced to sub-
mit to their masters’ sexual advances, perhaps bearing chil-
dren from whom they might be separated forever as a result.
In fact, these experiences obliterate any opportunity for a
black woman to have a clear memory and a viable past. Toni
Morrison, in her Beloved, tackles this point in particular. It
is a novel of “Futile forgetting and persistent remembrance.
Operating independently of the conscious will, memory is
shown to be an active, constitutive force that has the power
to construct and circumscribe identity, both individual and
collective...” (Lawrence, 2007, p. 45).
In Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing,
and Allied Health, memory is dened as “the mental faculty
that enables one to retain and recall previously experienced
sensations, impressions, information, and ideas”. (Kean,
2003, p. 271). It is man’s ability to recall past experiences
and give him/her capability to adapt from previous experi-
ences as well as to build relations. In fact, Toni Morrison in
Beloved portrays the impact of slavery experiences on the
memory of society and that of the individual, who is denied
in the process any sense of workable and meaningful past.
The individual, in such a battle, is caught at the center of a
war imposed by a past that refuses to die. To build relation-
ships in such a bleak, tantalizing, and thwarting existence
would seem futile. Toni Morrison succeeds in embodying
these concepts in the character of Sethe. The narrative voice
of Beloved is mostly here as she relives and \memories’ the
distress of her slavery life. Eighteen years have passed since
Sethe escaped from Slavery. After her escape to Cincinna-
ti with her four children, Sethe was eventually chased by
her old master. Rather than having children return slavery,
she attempted to kill all of them, succeeding only in killing
her baby girl. She lived with her remaining children and her
mother-in-law. The ghost of the dead baby began to haunt
their house, causing to perpetrate Sethe’s suffering. She was
still haunted by the pain of the past. A girl named Beloved
came to visit the family, and it gradually became clear that
she was the ghost of the dead baby. Beloved lives with Sethe,
proving to be powerful and malicious. On discovering Be-
loved’s identity, Sethe believed that she had been given a
second chance. Sethe tried to make amends for the past, but
the girl’s needs were devouring. The ghost did not forgive
Sethe for the actions. A group of women came to force the
ghost to leave, but Sethe is almost destroyed.
As a slave narrative, Beloved is written with the evident
purpose of revealing that the black is a human capable of
reasoning and judgment. Slave narratives usually speak for
the majority who cannot narrate their own stories, due to the
fact blacks have not been given the opportunity to receive
education. As one former slave woman wrote: “We were no
more than dogs. If they caught us with a piece of paper in
our pockets, they’d whip us. They were afraid we’d learn to
read and write, but I never got the chance. (Ward and Burns,
1991, p. 9). Sethe, in Morrison’s Beloved, is not only de-
prived of the opportunity to receive education but also the
right to be a human being, playing her natural role of moth-
ering. Sethe’s complex life under slavery makes her believe
that children are better off dead; better forced to come to the
conviction that, it is better to die in the cradle than to live
a degrading life of submission. As one may notice, in Toni
Morrison’s Beloved, the slavery experience in the life of al-
most all her characters acts as a devouring past: Baby Suggs,
Sethe’s mother-in-law, is a practical example of the brutality
of the past, the slave system, suffering from sexual abuse
and lack of normal maternal affection. Commenting on Baby
Suggs’ tragic stance in slavery life, Stamp Paid, one of the
minor characters of Beloved, remarks:
‘Sixty years of losing children to the people who chewed
up her life... ve years of freedom given to her by her last
child, who bought her future with his...to lose him too; to
acquire a daughter.see.. that daughter slay the children (or
50 IJALEL 7(6):48-51
try to); to belong to a community of... free Negroes. and then
have that community step back and hold itself at a distance—
well, it could wear out even a baby Suggs, holy’. (Morrison,
Beloved, 1997, p. 177).
Sethe is the embodiment of a traumatic and devouring
past, a character in whose personality, the reader perceives
the painful loss of a true maternal love. The weight of the
past has diminished the possibility of a meaningful present
and a promising future, Paul D tells Sethe that together they
have “move yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of
tomorrow” (Morrison, Beloved, 1997, p. 273). Seethe also
understands that “her brain wan not interested in the future.
Loaded with the past and hungry for more, it left her no room
to imagine, let alone plan for, the next day.” (Morrison, Be-
loved, 1997, p. 70). An inescapable force in Sethe’s life, the
past has exerted a tremendous impact upon her present to
the extent that has cannot envision any sense of the future.
Sethe’s traumatic memory thus controls her whole existence.
She tells her daughter, Denever, that “nothing ever dies, and
that the pictures and images of things remain” (Morrison,
Beloved, 1997, p. 36). A meaningful present, in the case of
Sethe, is to be a woman living in a community and main-
taining healthy relationships with others, and to be a good
mother in particular. The haunting of the communal past and
the tyranny of the memories turn Sethe into a crippled char-
acter, socially and spiritually. It becomes evident that “In
portraying the capacity of the past to haunt individual and
community life in the present, Beloved brings into daylight”
the ghosts that one harbored by memory and that hold their
‘hosts’ in thrall, tyrannically dictating thought, emotion, and
action. (Lawrence, 2007, p. 45).
Toni Morrison in Beloved, reveals how these ghosts,
which are ‘harbored by memory’, devour the memory of the
community and the individual. This makes Sethe oscillate
between remembering and forgetting, preferring to forget to
‘disremember the past. Beloved, Sethe’s baby ghosts who
returns to live with her mother and her sister, Denever, func-
tions as a scapegoat for the evils of the past, and as a vehicle
to free the community from these evils. However, Beloved’s
return and mere existence deepens Sethe’s sense of guilt, her
fragmented memory, and her loss of maternity. Although Be-
loved’s presence in the novel is a negative one, she helps
in releasing Sethe’s guilt; this point helps Sethe who needs
punishment in order to gain redemption. In most parts of the
novel, Sethe faces a multifaceted battle whose psychological
and emotional impacts have left her benet, with enduring
heartbreak. Sethe, unconsciously, accepts the punishment
inicted by Beloved; Morrison nds that this becomes aptly
necessary in a life of suffering and agony.
Morrison, in this way, tries to help Sethe repulse the past
through this process of needing punishment, in order to gain
redemption and have a sustainable life. Sethe has to confront
the evils and darkness of the communal and individual past
in order to free herself from their tantalizing impacts. Thus,
Morrison uses to extends the power of revelation to her char-
acters who uncover the hidden degradation they suffer; when
they are ready to put their memories into words, Morrison
states that “the collective sharing of that information heals
the individual—and the collective”. (Morrison, Beloved,
1997, p. 248). Morrison has provided the reader with a sub-
text with the unprofessed intention to unravel the unspeak-
able things Sethe is trying, and with the deliberate objective
to move the reader engage in the ctional and realistic world
of the narrative. Therefore, she moves between the past and
the present, memory and fact, memory and memory. etc...
Morrison’s mode of writing is characterized by being crafty
and creatively skilful:
“She was not thinking of the atrocity the men committed
on her, or the reason for her scared back, but by this nega-
tion, the reader has been made aware of the horrible sexu-
al act that she has been physically abused. Then... Her boy
lapping in the puddle near her feet, and suddenly there was
Sweet Home rolling. out before her eyes... it made her won-
der if hell was a pretty place too... the most innocent occur-
rence or image has connotations that bring back the horror of
what happened at the picturesque Sweet Home.”. (Morrison,
Beloved, 1997, pp. 6-107).
In order to shun herself from these traumatic memories
and thoughts, Sethe has not only to forget them, but also to
cope with her realistic life and individual traumas, Sethe’s
journey from slavery to freedom starts with her awareness of
the necessity to rid her children in the rst place from slav-
ery life. As Sethe is reunited with her other three children in
freedom, she radiates with her new-found freedom:
I was big; Paul D, and deep and wide and when I restrict-
ed out my arms all my life could get in between. I was that
wide. Look like I loved em more after I got here. Or maybe
I could not love em proper in Kentucky because they wasn’t
mine to love. But when I got here, when I jumped down off
that wagon—there wasn’t nobody in world I couldn’t love if
I wanted to. (Morrison, Beloved, 1997, p. 162).
Though the existence of Beloved in Sethe’s life, after
her escape from Sweet Home, has brought the latter com-
plications, it has rekindled feelings of love in the heat of the
mother; but Sethe wants Beloved to understand the reasons
for her past actions. It is thus through love and maternal af-
fection Sethe is able to unburden herself from all her bad
memories. Sethe’s commitment, unyielding affection, and
uncompromising relationship with her children have ren-
dered her admirable in the eyes of readers towards the end
of the novel.
CONCLUSION
In this paper, attention is converged upon discussion of
the inuence of slavery on the collective past of the com-
munity and the memory of the individual through the
experience of motherhood. Toni Morrison has skillfully
delved into how the traumatic collective past of the Blacks
and the heroine’s own memory leads to distorted experi-
ence of motherhood. However, the heroine succeeds in
overcoming these haunting experiences through growing
awareness and forbearance. Toni Morrison, in Beloved,
points out the necessity of new beginnings and faith that
the Blacks should maintain in order to live as free people.
Thus, Morrison has succeeded in showing African Ameri-
can how to exercise the ghosts of slavery and the horrible
The Impact of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved: From the Communal to the Individual 51
communal past. Through Sethe’s sense of hope towards
the end of the novel, Morrison has given African American
hope for the future. In doing so, Morrison has brought the
individuals and the community together; she has revealed
that Blacks and Whites have successfully achieved a sense
of cooperation.
REFERENCES
Bloom, H. (2007). Toni Morrison’s Beloved. New Delhi:
Viva Books.
Holt, Thomas C., Thomas, B., and Elisa, B. (2000). Major
Problems in African History: Vol. 1, From Slavery to
Freedom, 1619-1877. Boston: Houghton Mifin Com-
pany, pp. 89-90.
Lawrence, D. (2007). “Fleshly Ghosts and Ghostly Flesh”.
The Word and the Body in Beloved,” Toni Morrison’s
Beloved; ed. By Harlod Bloom. New Delhi: Viva Books.
Miller, K. (2017). Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine,
Nursing and Allied Health, 7th edition Ed., by Saunders
Inc 2003. Accessed in –a href=http//medical Dictio-
nary-the freedictionary.com., accessed in Feb. 2017.
Morgan, E.S. (2000). “The Paradox of Slavery and Free-
dom”. Major Problems in African-American History;
Vol. 1: From Slavery to Freedom, 1619-1877. Boston:
Houghton Mifin Company. 106.
Morrison, T. (1987). “The Site of Memory.” Inventing the
Truth; The Art and Craft of Memoir. William Zeissman
(ed). Boston: Houghton Mifin Company.
Morrison, T. (1987). Beloved. London: Random House, UK Ltd.
Taylor, G.D. (1994). In the Realm of Responsibility A con-
versation with Toni Morrison, Conversations with Toni
Morrison. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Trotter, J., & Williams, J. (2001). The African American Ex-
perience. Boston: Houghton Mifin Company.
Ward, G.C., & Burn, R.K. (1991). The Civil War. London:
the Bodley Head.
White, D. (2000). “Gender Roles and Gender Identity in
Slave Communities”. Major Problems in African Amer-
ican History: Vol. 1, From Slavery to Freedom, 1619-
1877. Boston: Houghton Mifin Company.
White, D. (1999). Aren’t I a Woman?, Female Slaves in the
Plantation South. New York: W. W. Norton Company.
Williams, H.A. (2017). “How Slavery Affected African
American Families.” Freedom’s Story. Teacher Serve.
National Humanities Center. Accessed Http://national
humanitiescentre.org/tserve/freedom/1609-1865/fami-
lies.htm. accessed in Feb. 2017.
... On the other hand, Mohammed (2018) portrays the dehumanizing effect of slavery on the characters and how the traumatic memory of the past has crippled them physically, psychologically and emotionally to adapt the present. "Sethe is the embodiment of a traumatic and devouring past, a character in whose personality, the reader perceives the painful loss of a true maternal love. ...
Article
This study examines the construction of racialized society and gendered identities in fictional text of Morrison's Beloved. The research aim is to analyze and explore how these identities are constructed in Beloved by using a feminist approach. We find that the imposed ideal of femininity is absorbed and patriarchy is assumed. Female’s black characteristics are repressed both intra-communally and inter-communally. In the former, black female characters are not ‘fitted’ to white femininity as they strive for identity crisis even among the blacks. In the latter, they are whim of male dominance-subject of incest, rape and seduction. Though, women are doubly repressed, it is not the racial discrimination that threatens and jeopardizes black women identity rather a sheer domination of patriarchal power from within and without exaggerating debasing women life among the whites. Therefore, this paper reflects on the manifestation of femininity and patriarchy in a radicalized society and how these two interact in women life in Morison's Beloved.
Chapter
The Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas provides a fascinatingly complex research site for the anthropological investigation of alcohol-related behavior. The area is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multilingual. It supports a complex mixture of urban and rural life-styles.
Article
1. Judith Thurman, "A House Divided," The New Yorker (November 2, 1987), p. 178. 2. Thomas R. Edwards, "Ghost Story," The New York Review of Books (November 5, 1987), p. 18. 3. Marcia Ann Gillespie, "Out of Slavery's Inferno," Ms., 16, No. 5 (1987), 68. 4. Stanley Crouch, "Aunt Medea," The New Republic (October 19, 1987), p. 42. 5. Carol Rumens, "Shades of the Prison-House," The Times Literary Supplement (October 16-22, 1987), p. 1135. 6. A few other reviewers take the more moderate position of expressing puzzlement about Beloved rather than claiming that she is either ghost or human. For example, in her New York Times review of the novel, Margaret Atwood concludes, "The reader is kept guessing; there's a lot more to Beloved than any one character can see, and she manages to be many things to several people." See "Haunted by Their Nightmares," The New York Times Book Review (September 13, 1987), p. 50. Similarly, in a Newsweek piece, Walter Clemons writes that "Beloved . . . has an anterior life deeper than the ghostly role she fulfills in the . . . household she visits." See "A Gravestone of Memories," Newsweek (September 28, 1987), p. 75. And, Paul Gray in a Time review says that "the flesh-and-blood presence of Beloved roils the novel's intense, realistic surface. This young woman may not actually be Sethe's reincarnated daughter, but no other explanation of her identity is provided." See "Something Terrible Happened," Time (September 21, 1987), p. 75. 7. Walter Clemons notes that Morrison took the germ of Sethe's story from a newspaper account of an 1855 event: "In 1855 a runaway slave from Kentucky named Margaret Garner was tracked by her owner to Cincinnati, where she had taken refuge with her freed mother-in-law. Cornered, she tried to kill her four children. Afterward, she was quite serene about what she had done." See "A Gravestone of Memories," Newsweek (September 28, 1987), p. 74. 8. Sethe's own need for a parent is expressed in a pained suspicion that her mother had been hanged for attempting to run away, an action that would have separated the woman not only from the horrors of slavery but also from her own daughter. Speaking to Beloved in a stream-of-conscious remembering, Sethe explains, "My plan was to take us all to the other side where my own ma'am is. They stopped me from getting us there, but they didn't stop you from getting here. . . . You came right on back like a good girl, like a daughter which is what I wanted to be and would have been if my ma'am had been able to get out of the rice long enough before they hanged her and let me be one. . . . I wonder what they was doing when they was caught. Running, you think? No. Not that. Because she was my ma'am and nobody's ma'am would run off and leave her daughter, would she? Would she, now?" (p. 203). Toni Morrison, Beloved (New York: Knopf, 1987), p. 203. All further references to Beloved appear in the text. 9. In an interview with Walter Clemons, Morrison brought to his attention Beloved's dedication, "Sixty Million and more," and explained that "the figure is the best educated guess at the number of black Africans who never even made it into slavery-those who died either as captives in Africa or on slave ships." Morrison notes, too, that "one account describes the Congo as so clogged with bodies that the boat couldn't pass. . . . They packed 800 into a ship if they'd promised to deliver 400. They assumed that half would die. And half did." And, the author wryly adds, "A few people in my novel remember it. . . . Baby Suggs came here out of one of those ships. But mostly it's not remembered at all." See "A Gravestone of Memories," Newsweek (September 28, 1987), p. 75. Of course, Beloved is the most important person in the novel who remembers the slave ships' horrors. However, Morrison does not reveal that fact here; she merely hints at it. 10. Although in 1807 Congress banned importations...
Article
1. William Faulkner, Light in August (New York: Vintage Books, 1987), p. 81. 2. Toni Morrison, "Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature," MQR, 28 (1989), 32. 3. Toni Morrison, Beloved (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), p. 53. Subsequent page references are provided in the text. 4. In her analysis of the slave mother's role as reproducer in and of the slave system, Anne E. Goldman points out the "conflation between reproduction and literary production" in schoolteacher's use of Sethe's ink to record the taking of her milk by his nephews: his "gaze collapses Sethe's milky maternal product into the inky literary one. . . ." See Anne E. Goldman, "'I Made the Ink': (Literary) Production and Reproduction in Dessa Rose and Beloved," FSt, 16 (1990), 324. 5. Cynthia Davis asserts that "power for Morrison is largely the power to name, to define reality and perception." See "Self, Society, and Myth in Toni Morrison's Fiction," ConL, 23 (1982), 323. 6. Likening Sethe to a "Greek protagonist faced with a tragic dilemma," Terry Otten argues that the "moral authority" of the novel "resides less in a revelation of the obvious horrors of slavery than in a revelation of slavery's nefarious ability to invert moral categories and behavior and to impose tragic choice." See The Crime of Innocence in the Fiction of Toni Morrison (Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press, 1989), pp. 82-83. 7. Deborah Horvitz identifies the way in which Beloved's voice in these sections works as a kind of collective voice for all those women who suffered on slave ships, asserting that Beloved's "sickening fear of her body exploding, dissolving, or being chewed up and spit out links each enslaved Beloved with her sister in captivity." See "Nameless Ghosts: Possession and Dispossession in Beloved," SAF, 17 (1989), 164. 8. Similarly, Deborah Horvitz suggests that the possessiveness inherent in this tortured mother-daughter relationship is "reminiscent of the slave-master relationship." See "Nameless Ghosts," p. 161. 9. Missy Dehn Kubitschek argues that "the beginning" the women go back to "revoices not only God's creation of the world in Genesis but women's creation of other life, the sounds accompanying birth." See Claiming the Heritage: African-American Women Novelists and History (Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1991), p. 174. While it is true that the bodily experience of women seems more closely tied to the articulation of this powerful, "feminine" voice, it should also be remembered that the men of the community are equal participants in Baby Suggs' calling in the Clearing. Such communion between the sexes is consistent with the sense of community expressed in the novel: that "to belong to a community of other free Negroes" means "to love and be loved by them, to counsel and be counseled, protect and be protected, feed and be fed" (p. 177). 10. The church and its minister are otherwise absent in the novel, supplanted by the more organic religious rites inspired by Baby Suggs in the natural setting of the Clearing. The freedom from the physical restrictions of being "indoors" permits the "deeply loved flesh" of the "congregation" to respond more intensely and uninhibitedly to the emotions elicited by Baby Suggs' calling. Further, in stripping this ceremony of Western convention, Morrison emphasizes the importance of remembering the religion that had been practiced in Africa and carried to America. Thus the fleeing Sethe instinctively draws on her memory of the "antelope dance," in which the men and the women "shifted shapes and became something other," to get her body and the "little antelope" stomping inside of it to the point where Amy rescues her (pp. 30-31). 11. Deborah Horvitz connects Beloved's fate to that of "those African women who did not survive the Middle Passage," glossing "disremembered" as "meaning not only that they are forgotten, but also that they are dismembered, cut up and off, and not remembered." See "Nameless Ghosts," p. 165. 12. See Toni Morrison, "Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation," in Black Women Writers (1950-1980), ed. Mari Evans (New York: Doubleday, 1983), p. 341.
Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health
  • K Miller
Miller, K. (2017). Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, 7 th edition Ed., by Saunders Inc 2003. Accessed in -a href=http//medical Dictionary-the freedictionary.com., accessed in Feb. 2017.
The Paradox of Slavery and Freedom". Major Problems in African-American History
  • E S Morgan
Morgan, E.S. (2000). "The Paradox of Slavery and Freedom". Major Problems in African-American History;
Inventing the Truth; The Art and Craft of Memoir
  • T Morrison
Morrison, T. (1987). "The Site of Memory." Inventing the Truth; The Art and Craft of Memoir. William Zeissman (ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Beloved. London: Random House
  • T Morrison
Morrison, T. (1987). Beloved. London: Random House, UK Ltd.
In the Realm of Responsibility A conversation with Toni Morrison
  • G D Taylor
Taylor, G.D. (1994). In the Realm of Responsibility A conversation with Toni Morrison, Conversations with Toni Morrison. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Gender Roles and Gender Identity in Slave Communities
  • D White
White, D. (2000). "Gender Roles and Gender Identity in Slave Communities". Major Problems in African American History: Vol. 1, From Slavery to Freedom, 1619-1877. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.