History In Toni Morrison's Beloved

1256 Words6 Pages
History is the past, in other words, history are past events linked with people – the characters in Beloved and Twelve Years a Slave. History has a strong impact on the lives of people. In Beloved and the film Twelves Years a Slave, history plays a significant role in creating the stories’ contents. It is a fundamental element which is the basis for the author – Toni Morrison – and the director – Steve McQueen - to develop the stories fully. Both Beloved and Twelve Years a Slave choose history as their basis, nevertheless, its role is presented distinctly in these two works. In Beloved, history appearing throughout the story is something that sometimes needs to be remembered and sometimes needs to be forgotten in order to have a better life.…show more content…
People should sometimes know how to let the past rest. The role of history may be presented fully through what Paul D has learned and the end of the story. From the experience on the chain gang, Paul D has learned that “living only in the present is not living at all” [Postmodern Blackness: Toni Morrison's Beloved and the End of History: 257] because life means “caring and looking forward, remembering and looking back” [Beloved: 109]. History is an integral part of people’ lives. Without history, people’ lives lose their meanings, and people are not living. In the end, Beloved is nowhere to be seen, still, the past is still there near 124: “Down by the stream in back of 124 her footprints come and go, come and go” [Beloved: 275]. History is still alive in the present, however, it does not seriously affect the present. In Beloved, history is the ground for Toni Morrison to construct her story and draw some lessons for readers. Both processes of remembering and forgetting need to move into the future. History should be a memory and a point for people – especially for American African people - to move…show more content…
George Santayana says that “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”. This quote indicates that people who do not learn anything or draw any lessons from the past should come back to the past. The past is also an integral part of life. The past consists of events that happened. Nevertheless, when it passes, people should not let it pass easily. People should probably know what they have done that is right and what is wrong. They probably need to keep doing the right things, try to avoid wrong things and prepare for the future. In Twelve Years a Slave, as can be seen from the title cards after the last scene, Solomon Northup has decided to aid many runaways in achieving their freedom. Solomon is a free man who is freed again after twelve years of slavery. He is kidnapped, enslaved and sent into a slave pen with others. In plantations, he witnesses man’s inhumanity to man. He has been beaten, almost killed. He has been made to work very hard and punished for what he is
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