Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight

Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. In the novel, Morrison portrays the horrors and lasting torment of slavery centered on escaped slave, Sethe. Fiercely determined to move beyond her brutal past, Sethe vows to give her children freedom from a life of servitude — at any cost. She kills her 2-year-old daughter to keep her out of the grasp of slave catchers, only to be revisited by the restless spirit of the beloved child — first as a ghost, then in the flesh. The book's epigraph reads: "Sixty Million and more," by which Morrison refers to the estimated number of slaves who died in the slave trade. In this novel, Morrison paints a somber picture of the brutal effects of slavery. The 'Sixty million and more' is dedicated to all those affected by slavery, reinforcing the major theme of slavery's generational repercussions. The effects of slavery on the self are inherited as a kind of intrinsic torment. The novel examines both the mental and physical trauma caused by slavery.

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