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Hyatt, Emma

Page history last edited by Emma Hyatt 2 years, 9 months ago

Emma Hyatt

Dr. Heiniger

Regional and Ethnic Literature

11 April 2019

Maternal Love and Slavery Final paper 

 

            Maternal love is powerful. It makes mothers do things in life that they would never do otherwise, often times even being willing to sacrifice their life. Motherly love is deep, thick, and sometimes confusing, yet the world has it. Mothers do everything they possibly can for their children, but sometimes certain circumstances twist and distort the love of a mother. However, sometimes mothers do not understand the balance of how far they should go for their children. In the book, Beloved, the effects of slavery impact the maternal love of Sethe. Slavery drives her maternal love to make choices a mother should never have to make. The biggest issue that seems to arise from the book is that maternal love should not have to be affected by slavery. The perversion of motherly love in Beloved is the illustration of the impact of slavery and what it exposes.

            Maternal love should be a good thing, but slavery corrupted it. Sethe’s maternal love became a hard, twisted thing. She developed “thick” love. Who says a mother’s love can be too “thick” in a given time period or situation? Sethe’s situation was hard to fathom. Not just any mother would kill her baby to save it from the slavery world, but other people did not understand her so-called “thick” love. There is a prime example of people’s opinions in Beloved that correlate with this situation. In chapter eighteen, page 164, one can get a feel for what Paul D., one main character, had to say to Sethe about her maternal love. “Your love is too thick,” he said, thinking. Sethe said, “Too thick...Love is or it ain’t. Thin Love ain’t love at all.” Then Paul D. asked if it worked and Sethe said yes. Paul D. comes back with an excellent question. “How? Your boys gone you don’t know where. One girl dead, the other won’t leave the yard. How did it work?” This question is what he asked and all Sethe could say was that it did work. (Morrison 164) The basis of this passage of the book is making the reader think did slavery really distort Sethe’s, maternal love? Jean Wyatt, the author of the article “Maternal Language and Maternal History in Beloved,” points out that it is up to the reader to figure out that Sethe might be the way she is towards her children because of how her mother neglected her. (Wyatt 20) Wyatt also expresses that during the time of slavery, mothers were separated from nurturing children. (Wyatt 20) This separation affected the bond between a mother and her child. Similarly, Sethe most likely did not experience her mother around, so she channeled it into her own children by thickening her love to do whatever it took to protect them and keep them close to her even if it meant killing one. That “thick” love destroyed the relationship between her and her daughter. This is the perversion of the idea of love.

            Maternal love should not be a loss. Sethe had to mentally make a hard decision and it caused her a lot of loss in the end. Throughout the whole book, Sethe’s sorrow is seen because of what she had loss. Prison was the first aspect of sorrow that she faced from killing her baby. In chapter 3 of Beloved, Sethe admits her time in jail by saying, “Oh no, I wasn’t going back there. I don’t care who found who. Any life but not that one. I went to jail instead. Denver was just a baby, so she went right along with me. Rats bit everything in there but her.” (Morrison 42) She cannot give the love she has to her living daughter because all she can think about is Beloved, the daughter she killed. That is what slavery did to many mothers during the time of the Civil War. It made them do the unthinkable. Because of her choice, Sethe lost her identity, an actual home for her daughter, and time well spent with her family. Scholar Catherine Romagnolo made a great statement, “Sethe’s origins, although continually evoked in the narrative, are marked by absence and loss— loss of language, the absence of home, of family, of security.” (Romagnolo 62) This quote is relatable to love mentally being destroyed. When a mother is brought to the place that Sethe was, there is no good choice. Whatever choice is made will be mentally overpowering to maternal love. That choice will change the way a mother mentally thinks forever.

            Maternal love should not cause division. Sethe chose to take the life of her child, but in killing her child, she lost two sons and a healthy bond with her living daughter. At the beginning of the first chapter, it said, “…Howard and Buglar had run away by the time they were thirteen years old….” (Morrison 1) They ran away because they were scared of their mother. The baby ghost that haunted their house drove them away from their mother which tore her apart, yet she still could not let go of what she had done. The boys feared that if she killed their sister out of “love” then could she do the same to them? In the next few chapters, Sethe would mention how she would “look in the cornfield to see if her boys would ever come back.” Because Sethe’s maternal love was so “thick” it caused her division within her family. Page said, “Family-the creation of it, the attempt to preserve it, the nostalgia for it dominates the plot.” and “In the novel's present, Sethe's primary desire is to reunite her own family, a desire which makes her murder of her baby all the more difficult to reconcile,” were two quotes by the scholar Philip Page. (Page 32) These quotes are the essence of the message here. Sethe wanted her family back, but she knew it was impossible because slavery scared her maternal love into a state of division. A mother’s love does not deserve into be perverted into division from something such as slavery!  

            Maternal love comes with a protective instinct, but it can be taken to an extreme. Sethe treated her living daughter, Denver, much different than she would have if she didn’t kill her other daughter. Denver was a sweet girl, but she was overprotected because Sethe could only compare her to Beloved. Two examples of this can be found in the book. First, Sethe would not let Denver go anywhere for eighteen years. She was afraid that the white men would rape her, so she kept her in the house. In one conversation that Sethe had with Paul D., she told him that “Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that supposed to mean? In my heart, it don’t mean a thing.” Then Paul D. asks her how she will protect her if she dies. She replied, “Nothing! I’ll protect her while I’m alive and I’ll protect her when I ain’t.” (Morrison 45) Secondly, towards the end of the book, Sethe sees a white man pull up to the driveway to pick up Denver and she thinks it’s a slavecatcher. All she knows to do is run at him with an ice pick, but she did not realize it was Denver’s boss. Once again, she was overprotecting Denver because she was full of fear. It was the same fear that she had for Beloved before she killed her. “Through Sethe’s emerging memories of her mother, Morrison suggests a genealogy of mothering under slavery that would logically produce the excesses and extreme forms of Sethe’s maternal subjectivity” was a quote by Jill Matus found in the article by Jean Wyatt. (Wyatt 23) Matus is saying that Sethe’s overprotective motives came from the very essence of the slavery of her mother. Baby Suggs bond with Sethe was corrupted and Sethe did not want that to happen with her and Denver. Many mothers struggle with overprotection today and they are afraid something bad will happen to their baby, so they overprotect and treat their children differently. This case is different though. Sethe was overprotective because of evil circumstances. Slavery should not force maternal love to be overbearing.

            Maternal love is meant to be emotional but not emotionally consuming. Emotions are never the same once you become a mother. This is especially true when slavery and a mother’s love are entwined. Sethe would never be the same emotionally because if her choice. How is a mother supposed to tell someone that she killed her child? The action she chose caused her to lie. When Paul D. showed up for what was supposed to be a visit at first, she lied to him about the baby. She told him that the baby had died. He believed her until later in the book when the truth is revealed. An old friend named Stamp tells Paul D. that Sethe killed Beloved and went to jail for it. Paul D. was shocked. (Morrison) Not only did it cause her to lie but it mentally destroyed her. For the rest of her years, Sethe would live with that burden and with the baby ghost. “The emotional repercussions surrounding the two central supremely beloved and mourned for children’s untimely deaths, drastically different though their orchestrations are, drive home the wrongness of the world that let it happen” was stated by Lawerance Buell, who also could see the emotional aspects within the book as well as in Sethe. He also said, “Beloved stands out for its rendition of the reflexive aversion, emotional hazard, ethical urgency, and epistemological confusion involved in recuperating the African diasporic past both then and now.” Beloved is an emotional book with a lot of emotional experiences that Sethe faced. Slavery turned maternal love from emotional to emotionally consumed.

            In conclusion, maternal love was undeniably affected by slavery. Mothers were driven to make decisions that no mother should ever have to make. Sethe chose to kill her own baby because she thought it would be better than her living the life of a sex slave. The choices civil war mothers made impacted the other children in their families. Is it justifiable for a mother to kill her daughter like that? That’s an answer only a mother could make. A mother must question herself as to how far she will go to protect her child. Maternal love should be a good thing, not perverted. When slavery is tied into the situation, it is easy to say the choice Sethe made was acceptable because slavery was a dark time in history. So yes, maternal love is powerful, deep, thick, and sometimes confusing, but it often has to make choices that will forever impact the mother and the world around her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

            Buell, Lawerance. “Morrisonʹs Beloved as Culmination and Augury.” The Dream of the Great American Novel, Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 317–346. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpqcv.16.

            Corey, Susan. “Toward the Limits of Mystery: The Grotesque in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” The Aesthetics of Toni Morrison: Speaking the Unspeakable, edited by Marc C. Conner. by Yvonne Atkinson et al., University Press of Mississippi, 2000, pp. 31–48. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2tv833.7.

            Furman, Jan. “Understanding Toni Morrison.” Toni Morrison's Fiction: Revised and Expanded Edition, REV - Revised ed., University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, 2014, pp. 1–11. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv6wgck3.5.

            Khawaja, Mabel, et al. “Toni Morrison's Beloved.” PMLA, vol. 112, no. 1, 1997, pp. 115–118. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/463060.

            Liscio, Lorraine. “Beloved's Narrative: Writing Mother's Milk.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 11, no. 1, 1992, pp. 31–46. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/463779.

            Morrison, Toni, Beloved. New York, New York. Vintage International. 2004

            Page, Philip. “Circularity in Toni Morrison's Beloved.” African American Review, vol. 26, no. 1, 1992, pp. 31–39. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/3042074.

            Romagnolo, Catherine. “Circling the History of Slavery: Multilayered Beginnings in Beloved.” Opening Acts: Narrative Beginnings in Twentieth-Century Feminist Fiction, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln; London, 2015, pp. 59–79. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1d989gq.8.

            Wyatt, Jean. “Maternal Language and Maternal History in Beloved.” Love and Narrative Form in Toni Morrison’s Later Novels, University of Georgia Press, ATHENS, 2017, pp. 19–44. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1g2km9c.5.

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Hyatt

Dr. Heiniger

Regional and Ethnic Literature

4 April 2019

Maternal Love and Slavery

            Maternal love is powerful. It makes mothers do things in life that they would never do otherwise, often times even being willing to sacrifice their life. Motherly love is deep, thick, and sometimes confusing, yet the world has it. Mothers do everything they possibly can for their children, but sometimes certain circumstances twist and distort the love of a mother. However, sometimes mothers do not understand the balance of how far they should go for their children. In the book, Beloved, the effects of slavery impact the maternal love of Sethe. Slavery drives her maternal love to make choices a mother should never have to make. The biggest issue that seems to arise from the book is that maternal love should not have to be affected by slavery. The perversion of motherly love in Beloved is the illustration of the impact of slavery and what it exposes.

            Maternal love should be a good thing, but slavery corrupted it. Sethe’s maternal love became a hard, twisted thing. She developed “thick” love. Who says a mother’s love can be too “thick” in a given time period or situation? Sethe’s situation was hard to fathom. Not just any mother would kill her baby to save it from the slavery world, but other people did not understand her so-called “thick” love. There is a prime example of people’s opinions in Beloved that correlate with this situation. In chapter eighteen, page 164, one can get a feel for what Paul D., one main character, had to say to Sethe about her maternal love. “Your love is too thick,” he said, thinking. Sethe said, “Too thick...Love is or it ain’t. Thin Love ain’t love at all.” Then Paul D. asked if it worked and Sethe said yes. Paul D. comes back with an excellent question. “How? Your boys gone you don’t know where. One girl dead, the other won’t leave the yard. How did it work?” This question is what he asked and all Sethe could say was that it did work. (Morrison 164) The basis of this passage of the book is making the reader think did slavery really distort Sethe’s maternal love? Jean Wyatt, the author of the article “Maternal Language and Maternal History in Beloved,” points out that it is up to the reader to figure out that Sethe might be the way she is towards her children because of how her mother neglected her. (Wyatt 20) Wyatt also expresses that during the time of slavery, mothers were separated from nurturing children. (Wyatt 20) This separation affected the bond between a mother and her child. Similarly, Sethe most likely did not experience her mother around, so she channeled it into her own children by thickening her love to do whatever it took to protect them and keep them close to her even if it meant killing one. That “thick” love destroyed the relationship between her and her daughter. This is the perversion of the idea of love.

            Maternal love should not be mentally overpowering. Sethe had to mentally make a hard decision and it affected her maternal love for the rest of her life. Throughout the whole book, Sethe’s sorrow is seen because of what she had done. Prison was the first aspect of sorrow that she faced from killing her baby. In chapter 3 of Beloved, Sethe admits her time in jail by saying, “Oh no, I wasn’t going back there. I don’t care who found who. Any life but not that one. I went to jail instead. Denver was just a baby, so she went right along with me. Rats bit everything in there but her.” (Morrison 42) She cannot give the love she has to her living daughter because all she can think about is Beloved, the daughter she killed. That is what slavery did to many mothers during the time of the Civil War. It made them do the unthinkable. Scholar Catherine Romagnolo made a great statement, “Sethe’s origins, although continually evoked in the narrative, are marked by absence and loss— loss of language, the absence of home, of family, of security.” (Romagnolo 62) This quote is relatable to love mentally being destroyed. When a mother is brought to the place that Sethe was, there is no good choice. Whatever choice is made will be mentally overpowering to maternal love. That choice will change the way a mother mentally thinks forever.

            Maternal love should not cause division. Sethe chose to take the life of her child, but in killing her child, she lost two sons and a healthy bond with her living daughter. At the beginning of the first chapter, it said, “…Howard and Buglar had run away by the time they were thirteen years old….” (Morrison 1) They ran away because they were scared of their mother. The baby ghost that haunted their house drove them away from their mother which tore her apart, yet she still could not let go of what she had done. The boys feared that if she killed their sister out of “love” then could she do the same to them? In the next few chapters, Sethe would mention how she would “look in the cornfield to see if her boys would ever come back.” Because Sethe’s maternal love was so “thick” it caused her division within her family. “Family-the creation of it, the attempt to preserve it, the nostalgia for it dominates the plot.” and “In the novel's present, Sethe's primary desire is to re- unite her own family, a desire which makes her murder of her baby all the more difficult to reconcile,” were two quotes by the scholar Philip Page. (Page 32) These quotes are the essence of the message here. Sethe wanted her family back, but she knew it was impossible because slavery scared her maternal love into a state of division. A mother’s love does not deserve into be perverted into division from something such as slavery!  

            Maternal love should not have to be overbearing. Sethe treated her living daughter, Denver, much different than she would have if she didn’t kill her other daughter. Denver was a sweet girl, but she was over protected because Sethe could only compare her to Beloved. Two examples of this can be found in the book. First, Sethe would not let Denver go anywhere for eighteen years. She was afraid that the white men would rape her, so she kept her in the house. In one conversation that Sethe had with Paul D., she told him that “Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that supposed to mean? In my heart, it don’t mean a thing.” Then Paul D. asks her how she will protect her if she dies. She replied, “Nothing! I’ll protect her while I’m alive and I’ll protect her when I ain’t.” (Morrison 45) Secondly, towards then end of the book, Sethe sees a white man pull up to the driveway to pick up Denver and she thinks it’s a slavecatcher. All she knows to do is run at him with an ice pick, but she did not realize it was Denver’s boss. Once again, she was overprotecting Denver because she was full of fear. It was the same fear that she had for Beloved before she killed her. “Through Sethe’s emerging memories of her mother, Morrison suggests a genealogy of mothering under slavery that would logically produce the excesses and extreme forms of Sethe’s maternal subjectivity” was a quote by Jill Matus found in the article by Jean Wyatt. (Wyatt 23) Matus is saying that Sethe’s overprotective motives came from the very essence of the slavery of her mother. Baby Suggs bond with Sethe was corrupted and Sethe did not want that to happen with her and Denver. Many mothers struggle with overprotection today and they are afraid something bad will happen to their baby, so they overprotect and treat their children differently. This case is different though. Sethe was overprotective because of the evil circumstances. Slavery should not force maternal love to be overbearing.

            Maternal love is meant to be emotional but not emotionally consuming. Emotions are never the same once you become a mother. This is especially true when slavery and a mother’s love are entwined. Sethe would never be the same emotionally because if her choice. How is a mother supposed to tell someone that she killed her child? The action she chose caused her to lie. When Paul D. showed up for what was supposed to be a visit at first, she lied to him about the baby. She told him that the baby had died. He believed her until later in the book when the truth is reveled. An old friend named Stamp tells Paul D. that Sethe killed Beloved and went to jail for it. Paul D. was shocked. (Morrison) Not only did it cause her to lie but it mentally destroyed her. For the rest of her years, Sethe would live with that burden and with the baby ghost. “The emotional repercussions surrounding the two centrals supremely beloved and mourned for children’s untimely deaths, drastically different though their orchestrations are, drive home the wrongness of the world that let it happen” was stated by Lawerance Buell, who also could see the emotional aspects within the book as well as in Sethe. He also said, “Beloved stands out for its rendition of the reflexive aversion, emotional hazard, ethical urgency, and epistemological confusion involved in recuperating the African diasporic past both then and now.” Beloved is an emotional book with a lot of emotional experiences that Sethe faced. Slavery turned maternal love from emotional to emotionally consumed.

            In conclusion, maternal love was undeniably affected by slavery. Mothers were driven to make decisions that no mother should ever have to make. Sethe chose to kill her own baby because she thought it would be better than her living the life of a sex slave. The choices civil war mothers made impacted the other children in their families. Is it justifiable for a mother to kill her daughter like that? That’s an answer only a mother could make. A mother must question herself as to how far she will go to protect her child. Maternal love should be a good thing, not perverted. When slavery is tied into the situation, it is easy to say the choice Sethe made was acceptable because slavery was a dark time in history. So yes, maternal love is powerful, deep, thick, and sometimes confusing, but it often has to make choices that will forever impact the mother and the world around her.

 

 

 Bibliography

            Buell, Lawerance. “Morrisonʹs Beloved as Culmination and Augury.” The Dream of the Great American Novel, Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 317–346. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpqcv.16.

            Corey, Susan. “Toward the Limits of Mystery: The Grotesque in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” The Aesthetics of Toni Morrison: Speaking the Unspeakable, edited by Marc C. Conner. by Yvonne Atkinson et al., University Press of Mississippi, 2000, pp. 31–48. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2tv833.7.

            Furman, Jan. “Understanding Toni Morrison.” Toni Morrison's Fiction: Revised and Expanded Edition, REV - Revised ed., University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, 2014, pp. 1–11. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv6wgck3.5.

            Khawaja, Mabel, et al. “Toni Morrison's Beloved.” PMLA, vol. 112, no. 1, 1997, pp. 115–118. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/463060.

            Liscio, Lorraine. “Beloved's Narrative: Writing Mother's Milk.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 11, no. 1, 1992, pp. 31–46. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/463779.

            Morrison, Toni, Beloved. New York, New York. Vintage International. 2004

            Page, Philip. “Circularity in Toni Morrison's Beloved.” African American Review, vol. 26, no. 1, 1992, pp. 31–39. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/3042074.

            Romagnolo, Catherine. “Circling the History of Slavery: Multilayered Beginnings in Beloved.” Opening Acts: Narrative Beginnings in Twentieth-Century Feminist Fiction, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln; London, 2015, pp. 59–79. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1d989gq.8.

            Wyatt, Jean. “Maternal Language and Maternal History in Beloved.” Love and Narrative Form in Toni Morrison’s Later Novels, University of Georgia Press, ATHENS, 2017, pp. 19–44. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1g2km9c.

 

 

Emma Hyatt

Dr. Heiniger

ENG 3073

19 February 2019

3 Microstories

The Wall

 

            The wall was there blocking them from everything they needed to get to. The mother grabbed her baby girls little, fragile hand. They were determined to get to the other side, overcome the obstacle, and face the challenges that the wall put in front of them. They needed to see their family and they were not going to let anything come in their way including the wall.

 

The Barn

 

             The sound of the bombs was getting closer, the squeaking of the boots were getting louder. The innocent people were forced to hide in a barn. It was dark, crowded, scary, and hot in the hiding place. Shoulders brushed shoulders and silence filled the air. One girl clenched her mother’s dress in terror and everyone was ordered to remove their shoes. Big tall men stood all around like terrifying statues in the dark lurking to see who was about. Fear embraced the child and she urinated into a woman’s shoes beside her. 

 

The Great Journey

 

            Seasickness became a ritual activity for two weeks straight. The little girl thought they would never make it to the place that would bring them better lives. The sound of New York scared her, but she had no choice. Her mother wanted a change, so becoming a U.S. citizen was her only option. The only thing left to do was look out into the open seas and wave goodbye to Germany, the only place she ever thought she would call home.

 

 

Excellent  Satisfactory  Developing 
CONTENT: 
  • Narrative is concentrated around a single event or idea. 
  • Narrative includes powerful symbols or metaphors related to point about ethnic/regional/marginalized identity.
  • Narrative has broader implications. 
  • Narrative has some sort of focus.
  • Narrative talks about identity without any clear symbols or metaphors.

 

  • Narrative lacks focus.
  • Narrative does not address ethnic or regional identity. 
STYLE: 
  • Narrative is compact. Each word is carefully chosen. 
  •  Narrative has a clear focus or message but remains open-ended.
  • Narrative is highly readable and engaging. 
  • Narrative creates a sense of a moment or idea rather than a traditional plot. 
  • Narrative is short without being compact. Words have some thought.
  • Narrative makes some point.
  • Narrative is interesting.  
  • Narrative is not written in Sudden Fiction style. 
IDENTITY 
  • Narrative relates to ethnic/regional/marginalized identity of the author.
  • Narrative celebrates that identity and demonstrates something distinctive about identity.
  • Narrative  
  • Narrative addresses identity through characters, situation, or setting. 
  • No clear relationship to ethnic/regional/marginalized 

 

 

Annotated Bibliography for Beloved

Emma Hyatt

 

Buell, Lawerance. “Morrisonʹs Beloved as Culmination and Augury.” The Dream of the Great American Novel, Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 317–346. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpqcv.16.

 

The controversy of Beloved is how this book chapter begins. It states that many had debatable issues about the interpretation of the book. Then, the author goes straight into a summary of Morrisons Beloved. After Buell summarizes the story, he compares Beloved and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. He also goes on to mention how earlier writings could be related to Beloved such as The Scarlett Letter. Also, Buell talked about the white and black issues within the book and referred to the schoolmaster and Mrs. Garner and how it related to many stories in the time of slavery.

 

This book chapter was full of comparisons between Beloved and other books of that time or before. Most of the information seemed to be well researched and thought out very well. There were no charts or studies. It was mostly stories and writings.

 

I will use this source to show that Beloved is not the only book written on maternal love, slavery, and feministic issues. Also, I will be able to point out how different the minds of the whites were from the blacks and how each side, in some way, suffered.

 

Corey, Susan. “Toward the Limits of Mystery: The Grotesque in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” The Aesthetics of Toni Morrison: Speaking the Unspeakable, edited by Marc C. Conner. by Yvonne Atkinson et al., University Press of Mississippi, 2000, pp. 31–48. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2tv833.7.

 

This article was about what Morrison wanted her readers to experience. The author, Susan Corey, stated how Morrison did not want her readers to be comfortable when reading Beloved. She wanted them to see how the experiences of reality really do affect someone and how hard it is. “Terror and play,” were two words that described the grotesque, which was Morrison's writing style in this book. The article goes on to introduce all of the controversial issues contained in the book. Maternal love, slavery, racism, etc. are aspects Morrison wanted people to grasp. This understanding of the book is what Corey was trying to get across in her article.

 

The layout of this article was easily accessible. The reading length was not bad, and the author had excellent points. The article was well researched and had a variety of information from different sources in it.

 

I will use this source to stress how important it is to understand not only Morrison's writings but others as well. Talking about Morrison's writing style was good because it helped me understand where she was coming from. Also, I will be able to explain how Sethe’s struggles relate to other struggles today.  

 

Furman, Jan. “Understanding Toni Morrison.” Toni Morrison's Fiction: Revised and Expanded Edition, REV - Revised ed., University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, 2014, pp. 1–11. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv6wgck3.5.

 

Learning all about Toni Morrison and her accomplishments was what this book chapter was about. It gave information on when she was born, how many accomplishments she had, personal information, and material on Beloved. The chapter went on to discuss how her books were mainly fiction and history combined. Morrison wanted her readers to know aspects of the African-American culture, so she included her knowledgeable experiences as well.

 

Knowing the writer’s voice and what his or her accomplishments are important to the research. This book chapter covered many aspects of Morrison's life which were very helpful. It contained multiple characteristics of her writings and her life. The chapter was well-written and very informative.

 

To understand Beloved, it is important to understand the writer. This book chapter will be useful in helping me to understand Toni Morrison and her writing mentality in order to close read and write a research paper on one of her books.

 

Khawaja, Mabel, et al. “Toni Morrison's Beloved.” PMLA, vol. 112, no. 1, 1997, pp. 115–118. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/463060.

 

 “Historical trauma,” is what this article mainly covered. Khawaja was focused on what Sethe experienced which really connected to the controversial issues in the world. She continues to talk about how the book seemed to be apocalyptic because of what the phrases said referring back to the book of Revelation in the Bible.

 

The article was not written very well for the reader to understand. The print was hard to see because it was small. There were a few quotes, but it was mostly writing. The author had sources and the information looked correct to the book. Also, the article was more of an interpretation of what James Berger thought of Morrison's story than of a place to gather research information.

 

I am not sure if I will use this article or not. It had some informative aspects, but most of it was irrelevant to my topic.

 

Liscio, Lorraine. “Beloved's Narrative: Writing Mother's Milk.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 11, no. 1, 1992, pp. 31–46. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/463779.

 

This article was about how slavery affected racial issues and maternal love. It mentioned how in the opening of Beloved, Morrison writes about the main issue many African Americans write about – blacks being invincible in the history of slavery. Many other authors are then mentioned in the article who also has written about maternal love and slavery. It goes on to mention how demanded black women were in slavery because of their reproductive cells. If they could make more slaves, then all of the masters would be happy. The article finished by stated that something could never be taken away from a mother, yet Sethe’s was – a mother’s milk. Then it refers to the passage in the book and to some poetry that ties all of a mother’s love and how it plays a part in the book.

 

It was very easy to read and understand this article because of the way it was laid out. I was able to quickly access the information that I needed in order to apply the resource to my research paper.

 

I would use this article to bring in the slavery aspect of the research paper. It will help me to explain why Sethe was used the way that she was, and I will be able to go into more depth about the story of her and her milk. I will also use some of the other author's writings mentioned in the article to relate them to Beloved.

 

Page, Philip. “Circularity in Toni Morrison's Beloved.” African American Review, vol. 26, no. 1, 1992, pp. 31–39. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3042074.

 

This article was mostly about Sethe’s relationship with Paul D. It is important to note that this article is very descriptive in how Paul D. could see how deep Sethe’s maternal love was but that she could not see it. In one part of the book, he tells her that “her love is too thick” and the writer of the article, Page, agreed as well because he heavily mentioned it. Also, within this article, it talks about more of romantic love than maternal love. So, one gets to see both sides of Sethe’s love.

 

The usage of this article will be scare due to the fact that it is not too relatable to the topic. It was hard to understand the writer’s points and it was a struggle to find exact information on my topic. I will still use this article because it did have one good piece of information within it.  

 

Comparing how Sethe recognizes her love and how others perceive her love is a good way to use this article. I will be able to talk about Paul D’s experiences with her and how her love was affected in different ways and how this happens in today’s time as well.

 

Romagnolo, Catherine. “Circling the History of Slavery: Multilayered Beginnings in Beloved.” Opening Acts: Narrative Beginnings in Twentieth-Century Feminist Fiction, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln; London, 2015, pp. 59–79. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1d989gq.8.

 

Instead of focusing on maternal love, this journal article focuses on the role of slavery and racism of the book. Romagnolo concentrates on how Sethe cannot talk about what really happened to her without going around in circles. This issue of hers tied into how history is circled around slavery as well. She also covers how import narrative beginnings are vital in a story as such Beloved and that Morrison knew that because her story’s beginning is good. Eventually, Romagnolo points out how Morrison is a very good storyteller and that is why Beloved was so popular.

 

This journal article was all over the place. It was hard to understand what the author was saying in certain parts of the writing. On the other hand, it was very insightful because it covered more of the historical aspect than the summary of the book. Besides the text, there was not any other data for research.

 

It will be beneficial to use this journal article for historical purposes. It does not relate to my main topic, maternal love, but it is sub-related because slavery is what affected Sethe’s, maternal love. Knowing the history of slavery and racism will be important for my research paper.

 

Wyatt, Jean. “Maternal Language and Maternal History in Beloved.” Love and Narrative Form in Toni Morrison’s Later Novels, University of Georgia Press, ATHENS, 2017, pp. 19–44. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1g2km9c.5.

 

This book chapter talked about the maternal language of Sethe. The reading starts off by mentioning how Sethe’s maternal love was complicated. She suffered from multiple encounters with making decisions with her children. Only an intelligent reader would be able to keep up on the gradual unfolding layers of her maternal language. Wyatt also discusses the possible reasons why Sethe could have killed her daughter. One reason she states is because of Sethe’s separation issues. Wyatt goes on to discuss the issue of motherly presence in both Sethe’s life with her mother and Sethe with her kids.

 

As my number one source, this book chapter is filled with important information about the main issue of the book. It was good quality, well written, and enjoyable to the readers eye.

 

This chapter will be beneficial to my research of the book Beloved. I will use it when I talk about comparing Sethe’s love with the issue of motherly love today. Also, there will be differences as well because of the different time periods.

 

 

Emma Hyatt

Dr. Heiniger

Regional and Ethnic Literature

4 April 2019

Maternal Love 

            Maternal love exists in every mother whether she realizes it or not. Often, mothers do everything they possibly can for their children, but sometimes certain circumstances twist and distort the love of a mother. The question is how far does a mother’s love go and what is she willing to do to protect her children? Can a mother’s love be too thick? What examples of circumstances affect a mother’s maternal instincts? Maternal love is powerful. It makes mothers do things in life that they would never do otherwise. In the book, Beloved, the effects of slavery impact the maternal love of Sethe. Slavery drives her maternal love to makes choices a mother should never have to make. My argument is that a mother has to make choices to protect her children, but her love should not be so “thick” that she is willing to make her child suffer death. Also, a mother has to take certain approaches to protect her children, but maternal love can take it too far and one can believe it is never justifiable to accept an unthinkable decision made by a mother. Likewise, in a lifetime, maternal love can be affected in different ways. Maternal love is much different from other loves so it’s hard to compare any of them together and any hard choice made with maternal love can affect her life forever. It might be hard to understand Sethe’s choice and maternal love, but it is not justifiable to this argument.  The perversion of motherly love in Beloved is the impact of slavery and it exposes.....

 

    Topic sentence: Love should be a GOOD thing.

  • Scholarship: Scholar has said that slavery separated a mother from her children and forced an emotional distance. 
  • Evidence from text: Since she REFUSED to give into that and tried to have a THICK love - or a strong love - she and her daughter are destroyed. 
  • Analysis (why): That is PERVERSION/or inversion of the idea of love. 
  •  

            Who says a mother’s love can be too “thick” in a given time period or situation? Sethe’s situation was hard to fathom. Not just any mother would kill her baby to save it from the slavery world, but other people did not understand her so-called “thick” love. There is a prime example of people’s opinions in Beloved that correlate with this situation. In chapter eighteen page 164, one can get a feel for what Paul D., one main character, had to say to Sethe about her maternal love. “Your love is too thick,” he said, thinking. Sethe said, “Too thick...Love is or it ain’t. Thin Love ain’t love at all.” Then Paul D. asked if it worked and Sethe said yes. Paul D. comes back with an excellent question. “How? Your boys gone you don’t know where. One girl dead, the other won’t leave the yard. How did it work?” This question is what he asked and all Sethe could say was that it did work. (Morrison 164) The basis of this passage of the book is making the reader think why is Sethe’s maternal love so twisted. Jean Wyatt, the author of the article “Maternal Language and Maternal History in Beloved,” points out that it is up to the reader to figure out that Sethe might be the way she is towards her children because her mother neglected her. (Wyatt 20) Wyatt also expresses what during the time of slavery, mothers were separated from nurturing children. (Wyatt 20) Sethe most likely did not experience her mother around, so she channeled it into her own children by thickening her love to do whatever it took to protect them and keep them close to her even if it meant killing one. Maternal love can reach far but in any given time period or situation, killing one’s own child is beyond a love too “thick.”

            What approaches does a mother take when making choices over her children’s protection and how far is too far? It is arguable that Sethe took her protective approaches a little too far. There are several occurrences in the book that mention how overprotective Sethe’s methods were. First of all, without barely reading into the book, the reader can see that Sethe has kept her living daughter Denver stashed away in the house for years because does not want her to leave.

            When is it justifiable to deem an unthinkable choice of a mother acceptable?

            Where in a lifetime is maternal love affected the most?

            Why doesn’t maternal love evenly compare with any other loves?

            How do the choices made by a mother affect her life forever?

 

Organization

Strong thesis at the conclusion of the introduction to guide the paper.

Thesis connected and supported in all body paragraphs.

Thesis makes a strong argument about a single theme or idea using the primary text and artifact.

Discussion of the primary text and artifact is coherent and succinct. 

Thesis is vague or spread throughout the introduction and the paper.

Thesis is not clearly connected to all body paragraphs.

Thesis does not make a strong argument about the primary text and/or artifact.

 

Close Reading

Analyzes the theme of race, sex, and/or citizenship in ethnic literature in or through a primary text and artifact.

Recognizes the complex identity of the author and/or artist as well as the author’s artistic approach.

Close reading brings the primary text and artifact together in meaningful ways.

Places close reading in conversation with secondary sources.

Summarizes and paraphrases evidence from the primary text to support the close reading (only using direct quotes when it is necessary to analyze the language).

Does not clearly analyze a theme from American Literature in or through a primary text and/or artifact.

Close reading does not relate the primary text and artifact in meaningful ways (although it may discuss both separately).

Does not situate close reading among secondary sources.

Primarily summarizes the text or quotes it (rather than analyzing it).

 

Support (Research)

Integrates support from secondary sources to support close reading.

Creates a clear conversation with secondary sources (without being overpowered by them).

Uses strong evidence from secondary sources.

Summarizes and paraphrases evidence except when quotations are necessary.

Does not integrate support from secondary sources.

Argument is either overpowered or disconnected from secondary sources.

Evidence from secondary sources is not clearly connected with the argument.

Uses unnecessary quotes from the secondary source.

 

Pre-Writing

Completed all pre-writing activities on-time (including conferences and rough draft workshop)

Did not complete all pre-writing activities on-time.

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (3)

Ashley Young said

at 4:43 pm on Feb 19, 2019

I like how short each story is. I think each word is properly placed. The endings were abrupt and I think that was very impactful.

Noel Saunders said

at 5:17 pm on Feb 19, 2019

Beautiful style, Emma. The content is already so well condensed. Great job at implying that the identity of the characters as German individuals emigrating during WWII without specifically saying it.

Christalyn Doig said

at 3:15 pm on Apr 4, 2019

1. Explain who Sethe is.
2. You have good points here, but try to put them in statement form rather than so many questions.

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