Repressed Memories In Toni Morrison's Beloved

1334 Words6 Pages
1. Beloved, the novel by African-American writer Toni Morrison is a collection of memories of the characters presented in the novel. Most characters in the novel are living with repressed painful memories and hence they are not able to move ahead in their lives and are somewhere stuck. The novel, in a way, becomes a guide for people with painful memories because it is in a way providing solutions to get rid of those memories and move ahead in life. The novel is divided into three parts; each part becomes a step in the healing ritual of painful repressed memories. The first stage is the Repression of memories. For example, Sethe, throughout the first and the second part of the novel is haunted by the memory of murdering her child. The second step is the painful reconciliation with these memories. This happened when Beloved, the ghost of Sethe’s murdered child comes back in their lives. The third step is the clearing process which takes place in the end of the novel where Sethe tells Paul D about the murder she committed. These three steps not only apply to the individual memory but also to the collective memory. In this novel, the memory of an individual is not just his or her memory; it’s actually the memory of a community that has gone through the same pain, cruelties and humiliation. That is, Sethe’s character represents every black woman who was tortured, raped and whose children were taken away from her.Thus, her character represents the pain that every black woman in
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