Thursday, May 4, 2017

Beloved and Invisible Man

In Beloved, Toni Morrison sends a message to the African-American community to not allow the events of the past to restrict their future. Beloved's character represents a collective past of the "60 million plus more" that have suffered through the inhumane treatment in slavery. In my independent study book, Invisible Man, it seems that the narrator's struggle to achieve a bright future is not under his own control. It is not as simple as avoiding the past. Everywhere the narrator turns it seems that whites are still looking to take advantage of him. He is taken advantage of by being having to partake in a Battle Royal where he fights other black men for a chance to win money and give his speech to earn a scholarship. He ends up being able to give his speech, but the white men do not listen unless it is to correct him on belief in equality. Throughout the novel, the author Ralph Ellison makes it clear that whites view the blacks as more of a tool than human beings. Morrison also portrays this viewpoint when schoolteacher and the other white men witness the infanticide, instead of thinking of the horror of killing a child, they think of their "damaged property." Sethe never truly plans for a future, until she sheds the events of her past. In Invisible Man, the narrator is fighting more than just his past, but the power of the whites. Ellison focuses more on a general, national level of success, while Morrison portrays success on more of a personal level.

3 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

My book Fahrenheit 451 also relates to Beloved but in a different way. The common thing between them is suffering due to dark sides of America. However, Beloved deals with past suffering on a mass scale caused by laws in America at the time. Fahrenheit 451 dealt with a possible occurrence that could subconsciously cause Americans to suffer. In both cases people cannot be independent because in Beloved slaves can't be independent while in my story people are unknowingly slaves to technology. I think it's interesting to see how the two stories relate even with their vastly different plots.

Brooke Williamson said...

My book Wuthering Heights is about the difficult dynamic that makes up love. Catherine earnshaw and Mr. Heathcliff have a complicated relationship that is tumultuous throughout the book. I really enjoyed this novel and found it interesting yet easy to write about since love is a popular thematic element in English literature

Julia Scofield said...

My book, A Passage to IndiaWas also about racism. However, instead of exploring slavery in the us, it explores the racial tendencies of the English in India in the early 1900s a large contrast between these two critiques is that in A Passage to india, no one is actually sexually assauted, where's in Beloved, Sethe was attacked. This difference in these two books are meant to reflect alternate experiences. Adela does not have to worry about the possibility because she is white, but sethe must endure it because she is not.