Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved tells about the events of the Enlightenment and the times of the Civil War for independence, contradictions between the slave and backward South and the developed free North, it also reflects the inherent ideals of the era and concepts of the identity. Conflict between male and female is a very important place in Beloved. Defending the problem of self-identification of women, Toni Morrison supports the educational ideas about a man. In the novel, she raises primordial and universal problems, equally significant for both sexes. She doesn’t contrast the masculine and feminine, but speaks of the beauty and power of both sexes.
The novel is historical, as in the basis of the book are real events that occurred in Ohio in the 80s of the 19th century: the story of a black slave (Sethe) who kills her daughter to save her from slavery.
The novel focuses on the nature of the relationship of past and present, to be exact – on the degree of dependence of the person, the community, and the people from the past. This theme can be traced in all the works of Morrison and is especially prevalent in Beloved.
Sethe’s daughter settles in the house in the form of a ghost immediately after her mother returns from prison. Such perception to the dead is due a special attitude to the past, which is in the Afro-American view of the world not only is a mental construct, but is a material substance, endowed not only with time, but also spatial, and therefore corporeal characteristics.
Sethe notices that some things are never forgotten, that, in its opinion, is due to the fact that the very places, where the events took place, will not disappear. For this reason, Sethe cannot allow her children to be in the South in a place where she lived, because then they would have gone through all the trials that fell to her share. The writer even forming her own word rememory to describe this picture of the past existing simultaneously in the human mind and in reality that does not disappear even after the death of all the people involved in a particular event.
Sethe tries in every way to escape from her past: she does not speak about it with anyone, tries not to react to the actions of a ghost, just removes or puts in place everything that has been turned upside down or spoiled. However, as we know, life without a past is transformed into physical existence, because, without realizing it, it is impossible to understand who you are now and what your future is going to be.
Sethe’s friend Paul Dee comes to her house to banish the ghost, i.e., to help Sethe remove the burden of the past. However, the past does not let her go.
Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved tells about the events of the Enlightenment and the times of the Civil War for independence, contradictions between the slave and backward South and the developed free North, it also reflects the inherent ideals of the era and concepts of the identity. Conflict between male and female is a very important place in Beloved.