Slaverybel Morrison’s Beloved As Chronicle Of Slavery?

1089 words - 4 pages

Morrison’s Beloved as Chronicle of Slavery?  

Stories written in our present time about slavery in the eighteen-hundreds are often accepted as good accounts of history. However, Toni Morrison’s Beloved cannot be used to provide a good chronicle in the history of slavery. While writing about black female slaves and how they were the most oppressed of the most oppressed, Toni Morrison, herself as a female black writer, has a very bias view, as seen by many others. Beloved is written in a completely nonlinear fashion that makes it very difficult to view as a good account of history; the jumping around that it goes through makes it very difficult to place oneself into the story. Due to this jumping around that the book proceeds through, multiple viewpoints are easily created which completely derail the reader from the actual truth of what really happened. In many cases, Beloved does not show sign of what a true history would entail, as understood in the articles and essays of many.

It is ridiculous to say that Tony Morrison’s book is a good account of history. It would be nearly impossible for a black woman to try to write about the history of prejudices against black slave women without having bias views. Stanley Crouch, in his essay “Aunt Medea”, talks about how language is counterfeit and those who tell history only tell their perspective (Crouch, 39); the view is entirely biases because of what they have been through. Morrison even stated herself, as noted in Maggie Sale’s article “Call and Response as Critical Method: African-American Oral Traditions and Beloved”, that she “wanted to write literature that was irrevocably, indisputably black” (Sale, 42). Cynthia Griffin Wolff, author of “‘Margaret Garner’: A Cincinnati Story”, writes how there is definitely a problem with facts and what certain people categorize as fact. She writes about how the “villains” only talk in a perspective that will provide “self-serving records of their crimes”, and how the victims in the story remain, only to continue to tell their story by forgetting what actually happened (Wolff, 105). Neither the “bad guys” nor the “good guys” tell exactly what happened. Stories, or histories, are never correct or exact because they are always passed on. Everybody adds their own two-sense or changes it to fit their interpretation of what really happened. Wolff states that this is the only way of getting to the actual truth, that this communal effort will actually lead back to the real story. She goes on to say that the union of women, specifically Morrison and her reflection on the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe, is what is needed to tell the real account of what happened; “to liberate the slave woman from the bondage and isolation of her silence” (Wolff, 105-106). How could the story of a woman, let alone the story that is passed on through a community of women, remain unbiased? Obviously, it will be fueled by feminist views. Crouch states that feminism had an...

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