Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison effectively provides reasons for the behaviour of her magical realism and gothic horror novel characters via her style of writing and the representation of them. Beloved is mainly written in third-person omniscient. However, Morrison’s novel is written in a constant flux, changes in point of view and narrators. This in course outcomes to repetition used to reveal other perspectives and the importance of key events, as well as to carry out a main symbol or notion. Beloved is filled with symbols in which she represents her characters with, bringing out some colour in them – colour being a main theme.

Point of view in a novel establishes how much the reader engages with the characters. Morrison begins the novel in third-person omniscient, immediately introducing the characters of the novel but with no detailed descriptions. The first page of the novel gives the reader a brief explanation of what had happened, and the cause for a gloomy atmosphere and a tone of fright that is carried throughout. It also sets up the significance of the past, before Baby Suggs died and Sethe’s two sons ran away, which is revealed in Morrison’s use of flashbacks. Sethe is haunted by her memories of her past as a slave as well as the ghost of her dead daughter. Morrison incorporates a change of point of view for Sethe to reveal her inability to let go of the past; in one page, she uses both first person point of view and third person limited to do so. “I don’t want to know or have to remember that … But her brain was not interested in the future. Loaded with the past and hungry for more, it left no room to imagine, let alone plan for, the next day.” (Page 83)

Flashbacks of the past are a key element to reveal what the character has been through, which then implements their decision making. Slavery is the main theme in Beloved and it is set after the time period of the emancipation of slaves. Morrison reveals how slavery has one way or another affected each and...
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