Rememory and the Gothic in Beloved College

Remembrance of historical events shifts over time, as details are purposefully excluded, occurrences go undocumented, and oral tales change with each retelling. Some historical institutions, such as slavery, are so traumatic and affected so many people that individual stories get lost when discussing these institutions as a whole. This loss of personal testimony is detrimental to the understanding of slavery because the human element that evokes sympathy is buried under facts and figures that have come to define this era of American history. Beloved, a twentieth century work of fiction reclaims the human element lost in history books, sharing the story of Sethe, Denver, and Paul D, whose lives get interrupted when Beloved appears, revealing not only their own memories, but the traumatic memories of many through a process called rememory. Rememory, a concept rooted in the gothic element of the supernatural that exists solely between the pages of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, serves as a means to recount and pass on the traumatic events that occurred as a result of slavery.

In Beloved, memory functions in many ways, primarily through personal memory, collective memory, and supernatural rememory. In many ways, rememory is similar to...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1939 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10920 literature essays, 2722 sample college application essays, 756 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in