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    Memory and Healing in Toni Morrison's Novel Beloved

    Number of Pages: 5


    Summary of the research paper:

    This 5 page paper argues that the characters in Morrison's novel Beloved cannot move on until they let go of the past, which is a long and difficult process for them.

    Name of Research Paper File: LM1_TLCtmorr.doc

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    urges Sethe to "lay down your sword and shield. Dont study war no more," Sethe finds herself so mired in the past that "her brain wasnt interested in the  future" (Morrison 70). Freudian theory would have it that we cant be freed from our past until we face it. With that in mind, one can readily surmise  that the connection between healing, recovery and memory in Beloved is a long and arduous process of painful explication typically found in slave narratives.  Overcoming the stereotypical racial images that continue to repress any sense of healing is not an easy achievement in Sethes world. Generations upon generations have been -- for  lack of a better word -- brainwashed into believing that the white race is far superior to all others. Reprogramming such ingrained concepts was not something she was to  experience in her lifetime. As she waited in vain for any step forward toward a modicum of cultural harmony, she was only met with a significant force of resistance  from those who believed that white privilege was the manner by which the world was constructed. Racial prejudice was a fact of her existence, whether or not she fully  understood the reasons or implications. "Days after it was taken out, goose fat was rubbed on the corners of the mouth but nothing to soothe the tongue or take  the wildness out of the eye" (Morrison PG). Indeed, there is nothing of a more political nature than the concept of slavery.  Oppressing one from living a free life that is inherently granted to each and every person could not be any more political, inasmuch as it goes against the very grain 

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