Toni Morrison Essays

Beloved

In 1873 slavery had been abolished in Cincinnati, Ohio for ten years. This is the setting in which Toni Morrison places the characters for her powerfully moving novel, Beloved. After the Emancipation Proclamation and after the Civil War, Sethe,...

Beloved

When Paul D, Denver and Sethe first come upon Beloved resting against a tree after emerging from the water, the three cannot understand the past or present of the girl in front of them. Rather than interpret her odd actions, each of them looks to...

Beloved

In Toni Morrison's Beloved, Beloved herself is an enigma that nobody seems capable of explaining. From a "pool of red and undulating light" (p.8) her state transforms from the supernatural to that of flesh and blood. But why has she returned? Out...

Beloved

Discuss the elements which keep interpretative possibilities open in Beloved. How far are these resolved or not by the end of the narrative?

'...definitions belong to the definers not the defined.'(Beloved, p.190)

When Sixo provides an explanation...

Beloved

Toni Morrison's novel Beloved contains many secondary characters, of which one of the most significant is the character of Sixo. Though the novel is based in post-Reconstruction America, much of the content is in the form of memories of ex-slaves....

Beloved

The main characters in Toni Morrison's "Beloved" are former slaves; their main struggle, after having been stripped of their humanity and identity by the white men who owned them, is to reclaim self-ownership and form identities independent of...

Beloved

That Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' is stylistically diverse cannot be doubted: Morrison's novel appears straightforward at first glance, opening with blank verse in a standard prose narration, but over the course of the story the style varies to...

Beloved

Much like a ghost, Beloved's Sethe is caught in limbo between her past and future. She constantly struggles between the remembrances triggered by Beloved and the opportunities afforded by Paul D. Having never matured into the present, Sethe finds...

Beloved

"We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth," stated the French philosopher E.M. Cioran. Though seemingly counterintuitive, this statement is undoubtedly true, begging us to question what it is about silence that...

Beloved

In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison conveys her strong feelings about slavery by depicting the emotional impact slavery has had on individuals. Using characters such as Mr. Garner and Schoolteacher as enablers, Morrison is able to illustrate not...

Beloved

Toni Morrison uses tree imagery throughout her novel “Beloved”. For most of the characters in the novel, trees bring both good and bad recollections of their lives. Trees symbolize the energy from which the characters gain comfort and freedom, yet...

Beloved

Toni Morrison uses the color red in multiple ways in her novel Beloved. On one hand red is a symbol of vibrancy and life, often revealing life in unexpected places. It also symbolizes pain and death, though death does not signify absence in a book...

11th Grade

Beloved

In Beloved, characters experience egregious violations of their human rights that create situations that the English language cannot truly capture. The author, Toni Morrison attempts to communicate the meaning of some indescribable emotions and...

10th Grade

Beloved

Communities are complicated. Each one is more than just a group of people living together in one place: they are supposed to offer their members a sense of belonging and acceptance, yet often ostracize those who are different. Often, they embody...

College

Beloved

In Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, there is a certain ambiguity surrounding the nature of the titular character. On the surface, she appears to be a reborn and grown up version of the child who was murdered by Sethe in an intended act of merciful...

11th Grade

Beloved

Trauma is a ghost, and memories can be haunting. Each has the ability to drive a person to madness, or to inspire a certain enlightened strength in him. The capacity of someone to act with resilience, despite the severity of his detriment,...

Bluest Eye

Among Toni Morrison's works, "images of music pervade her work, but so also does a musical quality of language, a sound and rhythm that permeate and radiate in every novel" (Rigney 8). This rhythmic style of writing is particularly evident in The...

Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison's Bluest Eye is a tragic narrative of how one black community loathes itself simply for not being white. Yet, even more tragic is the fact that an innocent little girl, Pecola, also comes to hate herself for not being white. She...

Bluest Eye

Pauline Breedlove would be quite a sight. This minor character in Tony Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye has a missing front tooth and a severe limp that seem to mirror her hollow and warped family life. When looking at the novel from a Freudian...