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Seminar paper from the year 2016 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Bonn (Anglistik), language: English, abstract: Toni Morrison's "Beloved" is a hybrid novel that combines several genres and depicts the brutality of African-American slavery. In this paper, Morrison's turn to the Gothic is central. Her anti-mimetic approach to represent the non-fictional past is a way of exploring the trauma the (former) slaves are suffering from. Beginning with the slave narrative, which is a highly political genre, it is attempted to position…mehr

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Seminar paper from the year 2016 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Bonn (Anglistik), language: English, abstract: Toni Morrison's "Beloved" is a hybrid novel that combines several genres and depicts the brutality of African-American slavery. In this paper, Morrison's turn to the Gothic is central. Her anti-mimetic approach to represent the non-fictional past is a way of exploring the trauma the (former) slaves are suffering from. Beginning with the slave narrative, which is a highly political genre, it is attempted to position Beloved in the literary history of the abolitionist movement. The slave narrative's function is important when it comes to understanding the purpose of Beloved since the novel draws on it as the slave narrative serves as a testimony to those who had to suffer from the atrocities of slavery. As a means to testify to the horrors of slavery and as a politically engaged document, the common mode of writing used to be realistic and mimetic. Here, the thesis is that realism is not sufficient in representing the horrible past in a way that explores the mental damage of the slaves and their descendants in contemporary literature. For this reason, Morrison turns to the Gothic and an anti-realistic mode of writing to examine the inexpressibility of the trauma. To investigate the limits of the slave narrative, I take a look at the neo-slave narrative, which revises the traditional genre. In order to get to the gothic novel, repressed memories are discussed. Furthermore, the difficulty of remembering in Beloved is analyzed. The main aim is to show that Morrion's purpose is to complicate the discourse of the text by exposing the readers to ambiguity and openness. Lastly, Beloved's importance is analyzed.