Effect of Slavery on Feminism in the Beloved Novel

Category: Beloved, Feminism, Slavery
Last Updated: 10 Mar 2020
Pages: 14 Views: 212

This chapter presents a review of related literature and studies that serving as a background and frame of preference upon which conceptual framework was formulated. This material gave much background and information for the present study. Related Literature (12 page single space) p 7-21 2. 1 Slavery 2. 1. 1 Timeline of Significant Events. The slave trade had a long history.

The first importation of slaves by the Spanish vessels from Africa to America took place in 1522. The first African Slaves arrived in Virginia, USA in 1619. The English colonies start the lawful establishment of slavery in 1660 which included the United States.

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The start of the big waves of slave importations into the English colonies from Africa occurred in 1700. The slaves start to outnumber the English Americans in 1720. The Quakers start to fight against the evils of Slavery in 1750. The French and Indian War resulted to the expulsion of the French army from many parts of North America for ten years starting in 1753. The United States war for independence from Great Britain started in 1775 in the war of Lexington and Concord. The United States finally declared that it wanted to be independent from the Great Britain on July 9, 1776 .

And, the Continental Congress of the United States formally approved their Articles of Confederation on July 9, 1778. And, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania finally abolished the practice of slavery. Great Britain and the United States formally signed the Treaty of Paris agreeing to stop the independence war between the two countries and to recognize the United States as a new nation. And, the Continental Congress sends the new Constitution to the state for ratification on September 28, 1783. George Washington is proclaimed as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789.

The Bill of Rights that contained the first ten amendments were approved by more than three fourths of the United States territory and becomes part of the United States Constitution. The United States bought Louisiana from France for fifteen million U. S. dollars. And the members of the United States formally made a law banning the importation of slaves into the United States . Further, the White Churches start their religious outreaches to the African American slaves. The United States quelled the revolt orchestrated by Nat Turner in Virginia.

Abraham Lincoln was chosen by the people as the sixteenth president of the United States on March 4, 1861. General Robert Lee’s Confederate army formally surrenders and ends the Civil War on April 9, 1861. The thirteenth Amendment was finally approved by the United States Congress. Lastly, the United States Congress approves with finality the fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This amendment gives automatic citizenship to the slaves. This amendment also punishes those states that do not comply in with the Amendment to remove slavery by taking away the rebelling state’s representation in Congress.

Also, all free men are given the right to vote under the fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution The Beloved novel also had a theme entitled slavery. Slavery is described by the novel’s author as commonplace. This means that the people who have slaves are considered normal people. The people during this time period accept that slavery is an institution and its philosophy and mindset affects the lives of many people in the slave –prevalent parts of the United States. Consequently, slavery had its advantages and disadvantages. There are also good owners of slaves as well as abusive owners of slaves.

Beloved speaks of Garners. They are the owners of the slaves like Sethe. They were very kind to the African American slaves. In return, the slaves like Sethe and Paul D. , another slave, respected the Garners. This happy cooperation between the Garners and the slaves came to an abrupt end when the Garners died. This novel describes the years before the Civil War and the years after it. Morrison’s lyrical narrative coherently weaves together the supernatural and the tangible giving a literary masterpiece that pours out a dazzling achievement resulting to a spellbinding reading activity .

They were replaced by the cruel leadership of the Garner replacement. The replacement was a man known only as school teacher. Paul D later stated that their happy home would only last as long as the Garners were alive. This was definitely true. Paul D. further reiterated that their happy home under the Garners would be shattered upon his death. The novel also dictates that the Garners are for against the practice of slavery. However, the novel identifies the slaves as just simple playthings or workers who were manipulated by the Garners to feed their fantasies and wants with the slaves as instruments.

In a simple to read manner, Beloved author Morrison wants to paint a picture in the minds of the Beloved readers how big the problem of slavery is. Morrison also indirectly gives clues as to how widespread and evil the slave trade was during those fateful time periods. The author, Morrison, also emphasizes that there are some ways to eradicate slavery. In the Bodwin home, there is a statue of an African American child. The statue has on it an inscription that reads “At Yo Service”. 2. 1. 2 US. WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.

As a backgrounder to this research, George Washington led the Continental Army to defeat the Kingdom of Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War. The war took place between 1775 and 1783. He led the American Army to defeat the British forces in Boston. However, he was later defeated in New York. He counter attacked by crossing across the Delaware River into New Jersey. He won in the battle there because the British forces were caught by surprise. Next, the American forces overrun the two biggest British forces in Saratoga and Yorktown.

George Washington united the different sectors of the colonial American pioneers in an astute manner. He negotiated with their new French allies and Great Britain to end its involvement in wars outside the American colonies in its Treaty of Neutrality in 1793 . Further, he was instrumental in a Central American government, the imposition of a national tax system and a central bank. He entered into an agreement with Britain to stop any future war between both of them. George Washington was one of the authors of the United States Constitution.

He is famous for the line “four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conveived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. ” This Abrahan Lincoln speech was delivered on the biggest and bloodiest battlefield of the civil war –Gettysburg. This speech brings the civil war combatants, supporters and relatives to the stark reality that George Washington has painstakingly created a new nation, United States. This speech was made by the current civil war President Abraham Lincoln during the burial of dead soldiers in a mass grave in Gettysburg .

George Washington had pooled together the entire people in the colonies to rally behind his popularity towards independence. He expertly blended the different interests and political hopes of the people and the Continental military into one solid and strong band of brothers. He had been the secret ingredient that united the soldiers then. He did things by helping the different sectors of the military, the states as well as the Continental Congress to settle their differences amicable. He was skillful as a planter, politician and the first United States President .

George Washington was very instrumental in creating a free United States with the Declaration of Independence as follows: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ” 2. 1. 3 Renaissance literature on Slavery in the 1800s. Many of the people in the South were changing starting in the year 1824. This precipitated from the passing of the Long Virginia hegemony. The humanitarian thought of the prior generations were slowing being replaced by new thoughts.

The people were now more interested in the economic turn of events in their lives and their community. The people of the South kept holding on their policy on slavery despite the trend in the North to free the slaves. For, the Southern states’ main economic activity was farming. And the slaves were very useful in the plantations. However, the Northern part of the United States was more industrialized. Thus, the Northerners felt that they no longer need the services of the slaves. The shift from the prior Jefferson to Calhoun was inevitable to the Southerners.

This means that the current economic realism had completely eroded the prior humanitarian idealism . There was no stopping of the change from small gentlemen planters over the inarticulate Southern yeomanry. The Southern mind was now focused on the assertion of Aristocratic idealism. The South had abandoned the Jefferson theories of equalitarianism that had been deeply entrenched in the people’s minds from Kentucky to as far away as Georgia. The South had abandoned the agrarian theories of John Taylor and the older Virginian population. The imperialist mind of the South was located in Charleston.

The strength of the South could be found in the black belt. This belt started from South Carolina to the East and Texas in the West. For, there were more slaves than the whites in these areas. The philosophical theories of imperialism had spread like wildfire in the Southern American regions. The literature of the eighteenth century was focused on the plantations. Literary pieces during this period include the Anarchiad and Echo of Harford Wits. Other literary pieces included the private letters of an indignant gentleman . American literature during the 1800s was symbolic in nature.

This was the style of American literature expert Charles Feidelson Jr. American writers during the accounting period Emerson, Whitman, Melville and Hawthorne tried to understand the American world in terms of symbols. They felt that this was the best way to unveil the significance of the phenomenal world they were living in. Feidelson felt that the rage to interpret American life was the inherent quality needed to produce quality American Literature in the 1800s. Here, the Puritans of this time period were too engrossed in the study of the meaning of self, world and the Puritan hermeneutic typology.

The people here were busy trying to think what God’s plan for United States continent was for the coming years. Another American literature during this time period was The Rhetoric of American roman Romance by Evan Carlton. Carlton used Davitt Bell’s concept of starting a literary mastery with the theme of relation . 2. 2 Characters of the Story 2. 2. 1 Sethe Sethe is the star of the novel. The entire novel revolves around her (Morrison 1). It also talks of the people who are her children, her lover and her relatives. She is a slave in Kentucky. She escaped from the Garner residence named Sweet Home because they had died.

The new slave owner, the school teacher, was too harsh on them. Thus, Sethe and the other slaves could not bear the inhuman treatment of the school teacher thus forcing them to fight back. This fighting back was in the form of running away. Sethe and the other slaves had to run away to freedom. However, Sethe was discovered barely a month after her bold escape. Upon being caught, Sethe slit the throat of her child, Beloved, in order to keep her from suffering under slavery when she grows up to womanhood. Sethe stands out from the normal African American slaves because she is bold and independent minded.

This is what inspires her kind. She even proudly stated to Paul D. that she will not run away from things on this earth. However, Sethe’s life has no direction. She spends most of her waking hours in her home, 124, trying to forget her past where she killed her own daughter, Beloved, and she was raped by a white American. This murder occurred when escaped Sethe was caught by the white Americans. Sethe would always miss her Beloved child even after killing her. Two men caught Sethe in Mother Baby Suggs house and took her milk from her. Thus, she was not able to feed her human milk to her children .

2. 2. 2 Paul D. Paul D was an African American slave in Kentucky. He escaped from his white owners only after Sethe successfully made her get away. Paul D. continuously tried to run away for eighteen years but he was caught each time. And, he finally reached Sethe’s front steps in Cincinnati after his last escape try was successful. Paul D. also had a past that he rather forget because he considered it as a nightmare. He locks up this sad part of his past in his tobacco tin part of his heart. For, his secretive past horror was that he was often imprisoned in a cube that lay in a ditch.

The reincarnated Beloved seduces Paul D. and tells him to accept his past as a normal part of life. Beloved aids him to finally lay his heavy load of a horrible past to rest. He is steadfast in his plan not to love anything in life too much because it would be only temporary. Martin Bidney stated that “I want to show that one of Morrison's chief goals in Beloved is to rethink and transform major British romantic poets. By taking a romanticist tour of Beloved, we can see with what startling originality she reshapes the literary past” . 2. 2. 3 Beloved Beloved is the third child of Sethe, the main character of the novel.

She was murdered by Sethe at the age of one. She stayed on as a ghost for the next twenty years in 124. She is reincarnated on her twenty first year. However, she has the mind of the child. He return was due to her desire to be caressed by her mother and to avenge her death at the hands of Sethe. She tries to comprehend why her own mother would kill her. She symbolizes the many African Americans killed because of the color of their skin. For, sixty million Africans that were kidnapped and forcibly packed like fishes in the very tight ocean going vessels to be sold into slavery.

Beloved had come back from the other world to address such hotly contested issues as justice for the slaves, morality and slavery . One Toni Morrison’s intentions for this novel was that the story would not end with the Paul D. rather, she wants this story to be told and retold so that many people from the current and future generations will not forget the slave past of African Americans. For, Paul D. finally laid to rest his nightmare as a former slave by accepting it as part of his heritage. Beloved successfully opened the eyes of Paul D. to finally accept his past and to move on . 2. 2. 4 Baby Suggs Baby Suggs is Sethe’s mother in law.

She is the mother of her husband, African American Halle. The novel states that Baby Suggs had died eight years ago. Baby Suggs was given freedom by her white American owners. She was happy that her owner informed that she is a free woman. She feels that that she now owns the different parts of her body. She encouraged her fellow African Americans to love themselves for what they are. She spread the word that her fellow African Americans should endure all that the White Americans placed on them and everything would turn out fine . 2. 2. 5 Denver She is the living daughter of Sethe. She felt that the arrival of Paul D.

has left her alone in a small corner of her mother’s home. Paul D. and Sethe often stayed to make love. Sethe feels that three is crowd because her mother and Paul D. were too busy sharing love with each other. And, Sethe feels that the boys and the girls of her time did not want to be her friends. She does not feel lonely because her lonely hours are spend conversing with her only friend. This friend is the ghost of Beloved. However, the ghost of Beloved is finally driven off by Paul D. 2. 2. 6 Howard & Buglar They are the two other children of Sethe. They ran away from Sethe when they were still thirteen years old . 2. 2.

7 Stamp Pride Stamp Pride is another African American slave. He had to endure his horrible past. This past was his that he was forced to give his wife away to the white Americans so that she could be their sex toy. Stamp Pride worked actively against the forceful taking of his wife . 2. 3 Racism Beloved focuses on racism. The African slaves are classified as animals by the people during this time period. The novel focuses on the school teacher. The school teacher likens the slaves not as a human being but only as an animal. This means that they are just like the pet dogs and the working horses that Caucasians own in their farms.

As animals, the Caucasian owners can do whatever they please with their property. And, the slaves are classified as property that the owners definitely will be useful in the farms of the slave states especially in the Southern United States territories. The African Americans are portrayed by the Beloved novel literally as having the same five senses that the Caucasian owners have. The slaves also have the senses of sight, hearing, smelling, touch and taste . Evidently, the novel Beloved emphasizes that the African American slaves are also human beings and should not be treated like ordinary cats, dogs, horses or any other work animals.

The novel is replete with voluminous pages showing that the African Americans are torn between fighting for their freedom from slavery or to just accept the stark reality that they were born to be harnessed just like pet dogs and horses. Also, the tune period of the story is very volatile as evidenced by the thousands who have died on both the Union side under Robert E. Lee and the Confederate side under General Ulysses S. Grant. The civil war was fought by the Union soldiers because they wanted to free the slaves.

The Confederate soldiers fought the war because they felt they had to break away from the United States and form a separate nation where slavery is allowed . The novel raises the issue of racism throughout the entire novel. It defines what freedom is to the slaves. Baby Suggs felt that she was free. However she had to right to privacy and property. For, the White Americans could barge into her home and search her place anytime of the day without need to ask for her permission. This what the white Americans did when they stormed her place to search for the escaping Sethe who brought along her children four children.

Also, the Paul D. was not allowed to love whatever he wanted to love due to African American lineage. Racism is very evident because the African Americans had to wait in line for the white Americans to finish their grocery purchases before they were allowed to enter and buy grocery items. The author, Morrison, emphasizes that being a free slave does not only mean NOT belonging to any white American. Racism has caused a break up of the African American families. For, the children of the African Americans would be taken away from them by their owners never to be seen again.

This is due to the fact that Slaves are the property of their masters . 2. 4 Kentucky the 1800s Kentucky in the 1800s was a time where owning a slave is normal human activity. Also, many slave rebellions cropped up during this time period. People like John Trumbull had to find ways to fight out any revolt from their slaves . CHAPTER III RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODLOGY This chapter presents and discusses the method of research used and the procedures utilized by the researcher in this study. It likewise includes the sources of data and the treatment of data. Methodology of the study

This investigation adopted the compare and contrast qualitative research method as this is the most appropriate way in determining the effect the type of business to the success of the business. In addition, the quantitative approach was included to complement the qualitative part of this research. The Archival Research is defined by Bordens, Kenneth S. , and Abbott, Bruce B. , (1999) as a non-experimental strategy that involves studying existing records. These records can be historical account of events, census data, court records, police crime reports, or any other archived information.

This qualitative study is divided by two parts. They are: 1. Compare Motherhood and Feminism in Beloved 2. Contrast Motherhood and Feminism in Beloved. And, the quantitative study focused on interviewing twenty persons who have read the Beloved novel. The researcher took pains in reading, searching and analysis of the different parts of this study. The researcher examined the comparison and contrast of Motherhood and Feminism in Beloved. The historical background is one of the main focus of this study including their success.

The final phase was the analysis, presentation and the drawing of the conclusions and the recommendation. RESEARCH INSTRUMENT The primary research instrument and technique was used in the gathering of data for this study. In addition, the researcher used secondary sources taken from books and journals. These secondary sources had guided the researcher to broaden the point of understanding specifically the effect of Motherhood on Feminism in Beloved. The analysis of variance was used to compare the different topics found in Beloved and the respondents answers grouped according to Age, Gender and Highest Educational Attainment.

The formula for Analysis of Variance includes Y i = e i where e i is N(0, ? 2 ) [2. 1] RESEARCH PROCEDURE The researcher seeks the primary as well as secondary materials as the best way to examine the effect of Slavery on Motherhood and Feminism in the Beloved Novel. After a through studying, reading and scrutinizing the different data, it is best to use the secondary sources as a basis for company business analysis and then coming up with the output – Results of the Effect of Slavery on Motherhood and Feminism in the Beloved Novel.

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Effect of Slavery on Feminism in the Beloved Novel. (2016, Jul 27). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/effect-of-slavery-on-feminism-in-the-beloved-novel/

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