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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Reclaiming the Past: Morrisonís Structural Framing in Beloved

Toni Morrisonís novel Beloved is the account of freed, escaped and emancipated African Americans in the 19th century. Morrisonís use of interrupted narration, poetic language and disjointed time throughout Beloved allows the reader to constantly see the same situation in a different context and understand how truly detrimental ignoring tragedies of oneís past can be. The paper studies how the past occupies and takes over Setheís life. She is held prisoner by the ghost/reincarnation of her murdered child. Morrison frames the narration of the actual story to emphasize how the violence of Setheís past has infiltrated both her mind and the structure of the novel. Throughout the story the past continues to crop up, much as in the minds of the main characters. The novel implies that history will continue to haunt the characters until they acknowledge their past. It isnít until Belovedís conclusion that Sethe truly deals with her past in order to have hope of moving on towards the future.

Presenter: Jennifer O'Dee (Buffalo State College) --
Topic: English - Panel
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 9 am (Session I)