Mythical Analysis Myths Of Freedom Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #39988293 Related Topics: Beloved, Toni Morrison, Poetry Analysis, Literary Analysis
Excerpt from Term Paper :

"In Beloved, Morrison allows the reader to share the legacy of slavery as the characters Sethe, Paul D, and Denver attempt to make a new life in freedom. However, they cannot put the past, lived in slavery, behind them; they must reveal it to themselves, to each other, and to the reader in 'digestible pieces.'" (Nigro) The traumatic events which were experienced by slaves cannot be wiped clean, and the past will continue to have an effect on the future. Today, the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder -- the psychological consequences of experiencing traumatic events -- would perhaps be identified in Morrison's characters. (Feldspar) Nightmares, flashbacks, irritability, emotional detachment, and other distress are common symptoms, and certainly experienced by Sethe and others in Beloved, all of which are a kind of continued mental slavery.

In addition to freedom being a myth because of legal and psychological reasons, there are also sociological factors that affect Morrison's characters and real-life escaped slaves. "Sethe's community both perpetuates the legacy of slavery, demonstrating a collective internalization of the commodification discourse, and plays an important role in the process of the development of her subjectivity against colonial lessons of disempowerment." (Elliott) One can follow the events of Sethe's downfall in Beloved and see the direct impact of the community's involvement or disinvolvement. From failing to warn Sethe of her former owner's arrival to completely ostracizing Sethe from the community because she killed Beloved,...

...

"How can Sethe escape the relentless definition of herself and her community as property? How can she find an alternative to the colonial/slave system of binaries that has infiltrated every part of her life?" (Elliott) It is not possible to erase the past. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 made it legal for slaveholders to reclaim slaves from Northern states, as well as making it illegal for others to intervene. Combined with the psychological impact of slavery experiences and the unsupportive community, Sethe and her family do not find freedom from slavery despite physically moving to a "free" state.

Bibliography

Davis, Kimberly Chabot. "Postmodern blackness': Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' and the end of history." Twentieth Century Literature. Summer, 1998. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0403/is_2_44/ai_53260178/print

Elliott, Mary Jane Suero. "Postcolonial Experience in a Domestic Context: Commodified Subjectivity in Toni Morrison's Beloved." MELUS, 2000. 181. http://www.geocities.com/tarbaby2007/beloved4.html

Feldspar, Antaeus, et al. "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder." Wikipedia. 28 July 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PTSD

JW1805, et al. "Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." Wikipedia. 12 August 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Nigro, Marie. "Revisioning History through Literary Characters: Louise Erdrich's Pauline and Toni Morrision's Beloved." WILLA, vol 9. 2000. 17-21. http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/old-WILLA/fall00/nigro.html

NoSeptember, et al. "Fugitive Slave Law of 1850." Wikipedia. 2 August 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugitive_Slave_Act_of_1850

Sauder, Diane. "Beloved Study Guide." MonkeyNotes. http://*****/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmBeloved11.asp

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Davis, Kimberly Chabot. "Postmodern blackness': Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' and the end of history." Twentieth Century Literature. Summer, 1998. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0403/is_2_44/ai_53260178/print

Elliott, Mary Jane Suero. "Postcolonial Experience in a Domestic Context: Commodified Subjectivity in Toni Morrison's Beloved." MELUS, 2000. 181. http://www.geocities.com/tarbaby2007/beloved4.html

Feldspar, Antaeus, et al. "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder." Wikipedia. 28 July 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PTSD

JW1805, et al. "Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." Wikipedia. 12 August 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution


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