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TONI MORRISON’S BELOVED A Contextual Introduction.

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1 TONI MORRISON’S BELOVED A Contextual Introduction

2 HISTORICAL CONTEXT : last days of the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction : last days of the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction Addresses the history and resultant deaths of slavery Addresses the history and resultant deaths of slavery The story of Sethe is inspired by the true story of Margaret Garner The story of Sethe is inspired by the true story of Margaret Garner The Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850 was reinforced by law enforcement acting under threat of severe financial punishment The Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850 was reinforced by law enforcement acting under threat of severe financial punishment Despite the 13 th and 14 th amendments, many former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” to restrict newly freed black citizens Despite the 13 th and 14 th amendments, many former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” to restrict newly freed black citizens

3 THE STORY WHEN? Set in Last days of the Confederacy, Civil War, and the Reconstruction Last days of the Confederacy, Civil War, and the ReconstructionWHERE? -Present – OHIO -Past – KENTUCKY

4 WHAT WAS HAPPENING DURING THIS TIME PERIOD? The Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850 was reinforced by law enforcement acting under threat of severe financial punishment The Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850 was reinforced by law enforcement acting under threat of severe financial punishment Despite the 13 th and 14 th amendments, many former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” to restrict newly freed black citizens Despite the 13 th and 14 th amendments, many former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” to restrict newly freed black citizens

5 HISTORICAL CONTEXT CONT. 1860s & 1870s marked the age of lynching‘s, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and race riots 1860s & 1870s marked the age of lynching‘s, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and race riots Jim Crow laws ensured a de facto segregation causing black and white people to remain on different levels and reinforcing the negativity of slavery for years after Reconstruction Jim Crow laws ensured a de facto segregation causing black and white people to remain on different levels and reinforcing the negativity of slavery for years after Reconstruction

6 BUT THIS ISN’T YOUR AVERAGE NOVEL ABOUT SLAVERY… MAGICAL REALISM

7 MAGIC REALISM ELEMENTS WHAT IS MAGICAL REALISM? magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment How does the book portray this genre? Hybridity—the juxtaposition of apparent opposites e.g. urban and rural, past and present, living and dead Hybridity—the juxtaposition of apparent opposites e.g. urban and rural, past and present, living and dead Author reticence Author reticence The supernatural and natural The supernatural and natural

8 POSSIBLE MAGIC REALISM THEMES Terror produces renewal Terror produces renewal Time is cyclical instead of linear Time is cyclical instead of linear Themes related to the carnivalesque—a literary mode in which life is portrayed in terms of the humorous grotesque, and chaotic nature of a carnival Themes related to the carnivalesque—a literary mode in which life is portrayed in terms of the humorous grotesque, and chaotic nature of a carnival


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