Analysis of her novel "BELOVED." Contends the author's intention was to structure her story around a resurrected, vengeful ghost for its symbolic value, and its function as a narrative tool. Subject of former slaves tautmatized by legacy of enslavement. Use of the ghost of Beloved to demonstrate strength of the African Ameican community.
In the novel Beloved, Toni Morrison weaves together a tragic story about former slaves who are so traumatized by their past abuses that they cannot... more
In the novel Beloved, Toni Morrison weaves together a tragic story about former slaves who are so traumatized by their past abuses that they cannot pursue a life of happiness. By using the literary tool of a ghost, Morrison creates a vivid and personal symbol of the destructive impact of slavery. Beyond its brutalizing effects on the abused slaves during their enslavement, slavery leaves behind a lingering legacy that is difficult to eradicate with the passage of time. Essentially, the ghost evokes memories of the past and suppressed emotions of the experience of being enslaved. The purpose of this paper is to analyze Morrison’s intentions in structuring her story around a resurrected ghost. This writer argues that Morrison uses Beloved the ghost for its symbolic value and its function as a narrative tool.
Examines author's novel BELOVED. Brief biography of Morrison's life. Her use of folkloristic techniques in the novel. Theme of moral destruction brought on by slavery. Slave & former-slave relationships. Mother-child relationship. Centers on character of Seth. Horrific impact of slavery as deforming former slaves & denying humanity of Blacks.
In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison looks back to the era after the end of the Civil War and tells the story of Sethe, a woman who had been a slave... more
In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison looks back to the era after the end of the Civil War and tells the story of Sethe, a woman who had been a slave and who escaped with her four children from a Kentucky plantation in 1855. She is a woman understandably affected by her past, and her memory of that time is bound with her belief that her dead daughter, Beloved, haunts the house in which she lives with her youngest daughter, Denver. Beloved is actually a real woman Sethe believes is her daughter reincarnated, though it is suggested rather that Beloved came on a slave ship with her mother and saw her mother throw herself overboard. Morrison's characters often have to find a way to live freely in the world after the experience of slavery, an experience that denied the humanity of black people and that continues to affect black Americans long after the end of the
Discusses the socialist message of Sinclair's novel THE JUNGLE. Author's criticism of social structure and capitalism. Inhuman working conditions in turn of the century Chicago's meat-packing industry, and impact on the protagonist. Immigrants disappointment in idea of the American Dream. Protagonist's multiple problems; his finding eventual satisfcation in joining socialist cause.
Upton Sinclair described the terrible working conditions he saw facing those working in the meat-packing industry at the turn of the century in his... more
Upton Sinclair described the terrible working conditions he saw facing those working in the meat-packing industry at the turn of the century in his novel The Jungle, with the immigrant Jurgis following the American dream and finding working conditions inhuman. The work ethic is shown to be strong in this society, causing many of the workers to accept their lot as if this were just the way things have to be. The characters in The Jungle are the immigrants who flocked to America in search of a better life and more opportunity, and part of the poignancy of the novel is in the way they are disappointed at the reality that confronts them. Part of the optimistic American myth is that American business is a benign institution that offers opportunity to workers and that is a positive value in American life. What the immigrants in this
Examines Ellison's novel THE INVISIBLE MAN in light of the African American experience. Social time of the novel (1940s) and its impact on the life of the narrator. His realization of his place in the dominant white society. His search for his true identity. Structure of the novel.
Ralph Ellison=s novel Invisible Man, which was published in 1952, was essentially written in the 1940s, a time of great racial prejudice and Jim Crow... more
Ralph Ellison=s novel Invisible Man, which was published in 1952, was essentially written in the 1940s, a time of great racial prejudice and Jim Crow laws for African-Americans. The contention of this paper is that Ellison=s description and narration of his Invisible Man is true to the life of African-Americans when the book was written, and was not exaggerated. Since the novel was written prior to the civil rights movement of the mid-1950s and 1960s, the leading black leaders of the time were Booker T. Washington, who preached humility and racial uplift, and Marcus Garvey, who preached black separatism. W.E.B. Du Bois was another influence but his ideas were more intellectual and did not contain the call for activism expressed by the later Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. The Invisible Man narrator of Ellison=s book must be viewed in the light
Analysis of Chopin's short story AT THE 'CADIAN BALL. Discusses how the story expresses typical Chopin themes. Lack of traditional roles meeting desires & aspirations of women. Discusses how the story reflects the cultural values of a society that limited women's expression. How plot and characters carry forth the story's themes.
Kate Chopin's slight short story, "At the 'Cadian Ball," is one of her early local color stories set in the Bayou of Louisiana in its use of place,... more
Kate Chopin's slight short story, "At the 'Cadian Ball," is one of her early local color stories set in the Bayou of Louisiana in its use of place, dialects and characters. The story "is more local color than realism," and its conclusion "more like poetic justice than realism" (Arner 2). A sequel to the story, "The Storm," written four years later, fills in some of the gaps in "Cadian Ball." On its own, however, the earlier story contains the themes that inform Chopin's work: the needs and desires of women are not met by the traditional roles prescribed to them in the late 19th Century. The theme of escape from tradition and authority was dominant in the work of Chopin, "a woman who lived before her time, whose stories might be seen as a vindication of the rights of women, and an author whose literary works were controversial and unappreciated until many
Carson McCullers' story "The Ballad of the Sad Caf?" is written in a non-sensationalistic style, and its narrative voice is omniscient, objective, and... more
Carson McCullers' story "The Ballad of the Sad Caf?" is written in a non-sensationalistic style, and its narrative voice is omniscient, objective, and descriptive. The subject matter has sensationalistic elements, including questions of sex and violence, but these are muted through most of the story. What the author does is create a strong sense of doom as well as suspense through a number of narrative techniques that on the one hand withhold information for a time to keep the reader interested while at the same time hinting at what is to come so the reader tries always to see the forces at work, to figure out how they will converge, and to recognize revelations as they are made. The first element that contributes to this sense of suspense is the fact that the story is structured as something
Discusses central theme of sex as a vehicle of power in the novel. Effects of sexual violations on self-worth & sense of powerlessness.
Sex as a Vehicle of Power in Beloved. Introduction History, memory and a ghost that represents both haunt Toni Morrison's Beloved. However,... more
Sex as a Vehicle of Power in Beloved. Introduction History, memory and a ghost that represents both haunt Toni Morrison's Beloved. However, Pamela Barnett argues that Beloved is haunted specifically by the history and memory of rape (Barnett, 418). Thus, although Morrison depicts innumerable abuses of slavery, the depictions of and allusions to rape are of primary importance to the novel's central theme that sexual relationships are more akin to violent, dehumanizing, power struggles than they are to romantic love and intimacy. In Beloved, the memories of sexual abuse and exploitation haunt each of the characters (Barnett, 418). For example, Paul D. must hide rape's traumatic effects in "that tobacco tin buried in his chest where a red heart used to be" (Morrison, 89) and Denver is a host
Discusses theme of identity & related issues. Analysis of female characters.
In Margaret Atwood's novel The Blind Assassin, a central theme is that of identity, and this theme is associated with issues of personal... more
In Margaret Atwood's novel The Blind Assassin, a central theme is that of identity, and this theme is associated with issues of personal responsibility, perception of events, the meaning of personal relationships, and identity in terms of public perception of fame, wealth, and social position. The novel tells its story on several levels, but central to the novel is the story of Iris and her sister, Laura, with questions of identity emerging in relationship to both women. Both women speak for themselves in some degree, and in both cases it is through a literary product--Iris through the memoirs she writes, and Laura through the novel she wrote called The Blind Assassin, a novel only published after her death. The novel begins in a cloud of ambiguity, for in spite of the seemingly direct statement made by Iris on the opening page,
Discusses the allegory of a Christian's journey. Stages of his spiritual life.
John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory of the Christian's journey through the temptations and sinfulness of the world toward the promise... more
John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory of the Christian's journey through the temptations and sinfulness of the world toward the promise of the Celestial City. In the course of the quest--which is presented as the narrator's dream--the Pilgrim passes through all the stages of conversion, commitment, and doubt that characterize an individual's spiritual life. At every stage he meets with people and arrives at new places--all of which are identified by names that unambiguously identify the people's predominant moral characteristics and the dilemmas that are embodied in the places. A second part of the allegory documents the progress of the Pilgrim's wife and sons who, after his death and acceptance into the Celestial City, throw off their skepticism and follow his example. Their journey is, however, far less difficult because, the Pilgrim (and many others) have
Various interpretations of the short story. Ambiguous elements.
Joyce Carol Oates' story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" moves from a precise, particularized account of a young girl's restless interest... more
Joyce Carol Oates' story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" moves from a precise, particularized account of a young girl's restless interest in boys to an encounter with sexual demand in which the stifling terror mounts relentlessly to a conclusion in which the world outside the girl's backdoor has become a land that she "had never seen before and did not recognize" (54). The account of Connie's growing terror is resolved as she gives in to Arnold Friend and, acceding to his demands, leaves the false security of her parents' house and goes out to meet her unstated, dreaded fate. The nature of this encounter is never made perfectly clear but its sexual content and the feeling of terror are unambiguous. The end of the story is both clear and highly ambiguous and the story has produced critical responses that range from