The Role Of Motherhood In Toni Morrison's Beloved And Sula

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African American literature, which has its origin in the 18th century, has helped African Americans to find their voice in a country where laws were set against them. The position of African Americans in the dominant society of the United States of America has not been an easy one. African Americans needed to find a new identity in the New World and were considered an underclass for a long time. In literature, African American writers have been telling the story of their complex experience and history. The mission to find their own voice was even more difficult for African American women who became targets of numerous insults, both during and after slavery, and were forced to be silent and to stand in the background for a long time. Many stereotypes…show more content…
One similarity that is apparent is that they can be regarded as symbols of the great mother because both of them lead their roles as a protective and possessive mother. However, Sethe in Beloved can also be seen as symbolic of the African mother who is fundamental in depiction of motherhood in Morrison’s novels. With the power to create and destroy life both Sethe and Eva make the cruel decision to end their children’s lives. Morrison depicts these acts in a brutal manner in order to convey the seriousness of the situation and to convey the frustration that arises as a result of racism and the heritage of slavery. Morrison reveals the side of motherhood most authors would be reluctant to portray. The reader is given insight into the lives of characters where everything is not black and white, but instead where the ambiguity and complexity of the situation of mothers are exposed. Traditionally, mothers have been portrayed in the idealised way society has viewed the mother, throughout history. In Beloved and Sula, Sethe and Eva are depicted as human beings with flaws and emotions of anger, bitterness and powerlessness. Morrison depicts, without sentimentality, mothers who kill their own children and thus, she creates an image of the mother which is
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