Beloved Brief Summary
The novel ‘Beloved’ is a complex novel that covers a time span of many decades. The story is told through various flashbacks. It is about slaves who are trying to deal with their excruciating past and painful memories. The reader will find that the story is divided into several parts where each one tells a story of a character from their own perspective. The structure of this novel can be described as ‘loose’; it does not follow a straight line. The story is meandered through a time period of 40 years starting from when Sethe is born in 1835 till then end of the novel in the setting of 1875. Much of the novel ponders over the year 1873 when Paul reaches 124 Bluestone where he and Sethe have conversations about their earlier life. The setting of the novel is mainly based at 124 however there are some other locations mentioned as well such as Kentucky, Delaware, Ohio River, and the Clearing. You will find Morrison altering his speaker; sometimes Sethe would tell a story and at other times Denver would be narrating his point of view. One can describe the structure of this novel as experimental with her frequent use of objective correlatives. This keeps the reader interested and curious to read on.
She had a childhood where telling stories to children was very common and she used this experience beautifully in telling tales that highlighted her culture and put awareness in the people today. The novel ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison is revolutionary. She not only challenges the white authority by writing for black people about black people but also credits the intricacy and uniqueness of African American life by operating in its complex system of language, meaning and art. 1 No one in the history of Mid-Western and American culture has written what she did. Morrison transformed African American life as well as their letters. Her work really informs us of the past of the culture and how and if it has changed.
It is very common for writers to name the characters to express a certain idea that is important to the storyline. Morrison has also done the same. The name ‘Sixo’ exemplifies the animalization of slavery in the novel. Although the origins of the name are not mentioned particularly we can assume that it was derived from the number given to him when he was being sold off as a slave. It signifies the inhuman status that a person is given when he or she is recognized by a number such as in prisons. The other names also denote inhumanity through enumeration such as Paul A and Paul D. The names ‘Baby Suggs’ and ‘Stamp Paid’ are also not usual names. As Mr. Garner states ‘if I was you I’d stick with Jenny Whitlow. Mrs. Baby Suggs ain’t no name for a freed Negro’ (Morrison, 142). Stamp originally named Joshua changed his name when his wife was raped by their owner. He claimed that whatever his duties were the rape had paid them off. (Morrison, 185). Both Baby Suggs and Stamp renamed themselves to redefine themselves after being freed.
REFERENCES: Morrison, Toni. Beloved: [a Novel]. London: Knopf [u.a., 2006. Print.