International Journal of English Research


ISSN: 2455-2186

Vol. 2, Issue 5 (2016)

Psychological trauma of slavery in Toni Morrisons beloved

Author(s): Priya E
Abstract: Toni Morrison is an Afro-American novelist, essayist, editor, short fiction writer and lecturer who have received many awards including Pulitzer and Nobel Prize. Beloved is the novel remains one of Morrison’s most unforgettable novel and a significant work of American fiction.The emotional hunger of the child constitutes the essential psychological drama of the Novel. An injured, enraged baby is the central figure of the book. Literally it is present in the title Character of Beloved and symbolically it is in the unconscious of all the characters of the novel. The viciousness of the baby’s unsatisfied needs colours the mother daughter relationship in Beloved. Mother plays an active role to instill in the child the cultural and social values that guarantee the formation of the identity of the whole community. The prospect of the survival of the Black community depends on the motherhood in Beloved. A baby’s unsatisfied needs not only refer to physical needs but also psychic and emotional ones. In Beloved, the worst atrocity of slavery and the grimmest dilemma the novel presents is not the physical death only but the psychic death also. The children have been denied to their basic need and their birth right, which is the lap of the mother that is essential for the psychic growth of the child. This unfulfilled desire leaves such holes in the sub-conscious as are not filled throughout the life.In Beloved trauma is pervasive. As a novel of slavery Beloved depicts the atrocities in slavery which traumatizes most of the characters. The impact of psychological of women by focusing specifically on the issues of social oppression on minority groups and power dynamics is portrayed in Morrisons Beloved. Trauma narratives are often concerned with human made traumatic situations and are implicit critiques of the social and political structures can create and perpetuate trauma. Trauma can be a power indicator of oppressive cultural institutions and practices.
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