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Submitted Literature

Beloved

By Toni Morrison

Review

Novel examining the thin line between Western formulations of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, psychosis, and cultural explanations of haunting. In itself a phenomenal exploration of the slave trade in the Deep South and the horrors inflicted upon generations of ethnic minorities.

Key Themes:

  • Cultural Psychiatry
  • Diversity and Ethnicity
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Revealing Reads

Significant Quotes / Pages

82-3 – “She shook her head from side to side, resigned to her rebellious brain.  Why was there nothing it refused?  No misery, and no regrets, no hateful picture to rotten to accept?  Like a greedy child it snatched up everything.  Just once, could it say, No thank you?  I just ate and can't hold another bite?  I am full God damn it of two boys with mossy teeth, one sucking on my breast the other holding me down, their book-reading teacher watching and writing up.  I am still full of that God damn it, I can't go back and add more.  At my husband to it, watching, above me in the loft-hiding close by-the one place he thought no one would look for him, looking down on what I couldn't look at at all.  And not stopping them-looking and letting it happen.  But my greedy brain says, Oh thanks, I'd love more-so out more.  And no sooner than I do, there is no stopping. […]

But her brain was not interested in the future.  Loaded with the past and hungry from more, it left her no room to imagine, let alone plan for, the next day.  Exactly like that afternoon in the wild onions-when one more step was the most she could see of the future.  Other people went crazy, why couldn't she?  Other people's brains stopped, turned around and went on to something new, which was what must have happened to Halle.”

Reference: Toni, Morrison. 1987. Beloved. London: Vintage, 2005

Reviewer

- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Monday 23rd March 2009