Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trying to get these blog posts out of the way so I have the weekend free

The use of magical realism in Beloved really highlights the absurdity, and unreal affects of slavery. Ghosts are almost physical manifestations of the psychological conditions that most be eating away at those who were enslaved. The repressed memories of Sethe, and her sudden onsets of remembering Sweet Home are other psychological effects felt by the people at 124, which is really a microcosm for "the 60 million". Back to magical realism, Beloved embodies the haunting past that the people from Sweet Home feel. She is a casualty not from slavery directly, but from the terrifying struggle to survive the aftermath of slavery. If Morrison wrote a regular novel, about, and this sounds terrible, but an average slave runaway, the story would be chilling, moving, and impactful, but it wouldn't portray the larger affects of slavery on society, thought, and history.

3 comments:

Austin Falk said...

This is interesting. I also find it strange that the ghost disappears for a while when Paul D shows up to 124. Paul D temporarily brings Seethe back to her past at Sweet Home and brought back memories of some of the people she cared about in her past such as her husband Halle. After Paul D stays at 124 for a while, the ghost reappears in the form of Beloved. Beloved is an actual person and not just a ghost as before. The return of Paul D into Seethe's world makes her memories come back and makes her previous Sweet Home good memories and bad memories all too real and familiar again.

Cassidy George said...

Yesterday I loved when Laura described slavery as "a skeleton in the closet of American History. I think that's true beyond measure. It's such a brutal and horrific element of our past. It's the epitome of hypocrisy in a country formed based on the concepts of freedom and equality. Living in the south, we are reminded of slavery more often than most americans. But I think Morrison explains slavery in an eloquent and unique way. Like the ghosts that haunt 124, the ghost of slavery will always be present in our society. It has permeated our culture in more ways imaginable. The spirits of the past will manifest themselves in the american personality now, and in the years to come.

Ben Bonner said...

In regards to what Will said about surviving the aftermath of slavery, I think Morrison portrays it as just as bad if not worse than slavery itself. One of the post-slavery hardships that really stood out for me was that after Sethe is free, she has to endure prostituting herself in order to have her recently dead daughter's tombstone engraved. In another example, after Halle has purchased Baby Suggs's freedom, the other slaves question what a 60 year old woman with a bad hip needs freedom for. And going back to Sethe's case, even though she is legally free, she still appears to be in economic servitude to the people she works for.