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Beloved by Toni Morrison

            Set in America in the years leading up to the abolition of slavery, Beloved is the personal narrative of Sethe who is an escaped slave and our main protagonist. Toni Morrison invites the reader to be drawn into this emotional situation alongside our main protagonist who has evidently been through a life ridden with trauma some of which is revealed in the given extract. Its unique written form enables Morrison to relate this trauma more sensitively. It is written in a fragmented style with images and memories distributed throughout and, these pieces to the "jigsaw" have to be put together by the reader. It is this role of the reader and reading that I will discuss in this critical analysis of Beloved, as well as the concept of the uncanny in literature, but more prominently the notion of Beloved as an uncanny piece.
             The experimental structure of the extract allows much room for interpretation, and has been purposely designed by Morrison to allow her readers to become actively involved. She uses both verse and "stream of consciousness" and this extract memorably combines the two. Beloved's memories are vividly conveyed to the reader in the prose of the extract but it is only through the dialogue that she is able to consciously express her feelings. Flashbacks appear to be an incorporated element of Morrison's masterpiece too and they add to the surrealism and similarly the ghostliness of her work. Through flashbacks in the extract, our narrator manifestly declares her prior knowledge of her mother and sister. She recalls of how she was "there in the creek" whilst Denver played and how the "clouds were noisy and in the way". A further flashback that is indeed elusive is the memory of Beloved's maltreatment leading to her death, she states,.
             She hurt me.
             This evokes sympathy from the reader and the language is a stimulus for this. The naivety and inexperience of the language reveals that Beloved has not matured since the time in which she was "hurt".

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