Swagata Biswas

Assistant Professor in English

Department of Home Science

University of Calcutta

West Bengal

India

Abstract

Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) is a modern day rendition of the nineteenth-century genre of the slave narrative. This fictionalized narrative, based on the true story of Margaret Garner, a slave woman from Kentucky, falls under the rubric of the neoslave narrative. This new literary form is developed by the twentieth-century writers to engage their historical and literary past. The paper analyses how Morrison’s Beloved as a twentieth-century “slave narrative” re-reads nineteenth-century female slave author Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) and fills up the silences left in the work of the earlier Black woman. This text is not the simple renewal of the nineteenth-century narrative as it revises and recreates the concept of sexuality and motherhood, two vital concerns of Black women.

Keywords: Slave narrative, sexuality, motherhood, recreates.

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Toni Morrison’s Beloved: A Reconstruction of the Slave Narrative Genre

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