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|Read Kindle Ø Beloved Í Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Toni Morrison s Beloved is a spellbinding and dazzlingly innovative portrait of a woman haunted by the pastSethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free She has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad, yet she is still held captive by memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened Meanwhile Sethe s house has long been troubled by the angry, destructive ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word BelovedSethe works at beating back the past, but it makes itself heard and felt incessantly in her memory and in the lives of those around her When a mysterious teenage girl arrives, calling herself Beloved, Sethe s terrible secret explodes into the presentCombining the visionary power of legend with the unassailable truth of history, Morrison s unforgettable novel is one of the great and enduring works of American literature There are reasons why Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature Beloved may be the biggest one The structure is a ghost story about a woman who killed her own children rather than see them be dragged back from freedom to live a life of slavery, and how the guilt of that act comes back to haunt her But the real payload here is a portrayal of the slave existence, how it seeps into every pore, affects every emotion, defines one s world view, how one values education, how willing o There are reasons why Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature Beloved may be the biggest one The structure is a ghost story about a woman who killed her own children rather than see them be dragged back from freedom to live a life of slavery, and how the guilt of that act comes back to haunt her But the real payload here is a portrayal of the slave existence, how it seeps into every pore, affects every emotion, defines one s world view, how one values education, how willing one can be to love another human being It is a triumph, a masterwork by one of the world s great writers, working so well at several levels Sethe is the main character Having already sent her children ahead, this pregnant woman flees slavery in the south and takes up residence with her grandmother, Baby Suggs But when a posse comes to bring her back, she kills her children rather than allow them to become slaves.There is a lot here about identity, defining oneself in one s own terms and not the owner s for example Also, there is commentary on the need for and value of community Sethe s daughter Denver never strays from their home, but when she finally does, she finds that there is help to be had When Paul D is in need the community of free blacks isthan willing to help.The story is based on a real case, on in which Margaret Garner remembered in this book as the family name given to the less horrendous slave owners in 1856 killed her children for the same reason.Most men in this book are oppressors, but a few rise above Mister Garner, although a slave owner, shows at least some signs of humanity Paul D is the most developed male character, struggling with his fears and weaknesses, but in search of truth and peace Morrison utilizes expected literary devices like foreshadowing an early image of a white clad figure hovering over Sethe , flipping back and forth among several time lines, changing from third person to first, classic references p 174 When the four horsemen came schoolteacher, one nephew, one slave catcher and a sherrif the hours on Bluestone Road was so quiet they thought they were too late to great effect More than just a great ghost story or an outstanding tale of slavery, Morrison has written a classic of 20th century American literature It will be read forever Beloved is the Great American Horror Novel Sorry Stephen King evil clowns and alcoholic would be writers are pretty creepy, but they just got nothing on the terrifying specter of American slavery I literally got chills physical chills over and over while reading this book To me, great horror has the scary element e.g., a ghost and then, lurking behind it, something so vast and evil that trying to think about it can make you go insane Beloved did that It worked as horror And then a Beloved is the Great American Horror Novel Sorry Stephen King evil clowns and alcoholic would be writers are pretty creepy, but they just got nothing on the terrifying specter of American slavery I literally got chills physical chills over and over while reading this book To me, great horror has the scary element e.g., a ghost and then, lurking behind it, something so vast and evil that trying to think about it can make you go insane Beloved did that It worked as horror And then also, even , it worked as great American literature I don t think in these terms too often, but it does seem like there s such a thing as national novels I m sure there s a better, fancier way to talk about what I mean, which is books that are so specifically about The American Experience that being an American reading them feels very special and intimate, as if it s a book about my own family That feels like a strange and dorky thing for me to say, but it s how I felt Slavery is such an essential part of all our heritage that reading this treatment of it felt very personal, like listening to secrets about your grandparents Beloved really worked on something at the heart of the American experience, and while I don t usually think in those terms this book forced me to, which is one of many reasons why it did affect me so much.I feel like Morrison has a certain reputation and associations that are completely at odds with what her work is actually like Maybe it s the Toni with an i thing it s definitely the Oprah connection and the fact that she s a lady author, but whatever the reasons, I feel like people who haven t read her believe that Morrison writes these lovely, lyrical, ladylike books that will soften the heart and elevate the soul and I mean, I guess in a way she does, but these lovely books will give you seriously deranged nightmares Toni Morrison is out of her MIND I mean, she really must be in order to write these things I can t imagine what it would be like to have this incredibly twisted stuff come out of my brain Of course, the most horrific parts of the book aren t invented Morrison clearly spent a lot of time researching the historical record of slavery and thinking about its effects and meaning, and her ability to wrest a novel like this out of that past is just incomprehensible because in fact Beloved really is lovely and lyrical, but it s about the most disturbing shit imaginable It s interesting to see how divided people on this site are about Morrison A lot of people just LOATHE her I think that s pretty understandable when you consider her subject matter Some girl on here was like, UGH Beastiality, rape, torture, infanticide Toni Morrison is DISGUSTING And I mean, well, that girl s got a point, this book was pretty icky but it s about kind of an icky topic, ya know In a weird way, this felt a bit like the anti Proust it s about memory, but instead of being a plotless, enchanting, European meander through a picturesque past, Beloved is a brutal and ruthless American cousin with rough, bloody hands, running through the woods screaming The book is about the problem of memory, specifically the memory of trauma, both on a personal and national level I feel like everyone always wants to write these great books about the most terrible shit, but the fact is that doing so right is incredibly hard, which is maybe why there re so many bad books about tragedy and so many good books about boring people s mundane little problems You really have to know what you re doing to write about the most terrible shit well, and Morrison picked THE most terrible shit in America s past, then wrote an original and organic ghost story that deserves its hallowed place in American literature Ya know, one thing we think about in social work school or that I thought about, anyway is the relationship between macro events or phenomena e.g., a war, or racism and its micro effects on individuals This book depicts the effects of slavery on people individually and collectively with, just, well, shattering genius But don t try this at home, folks She is a lady of unusual talent and skills, and in most people s clumsy hands this effort d be dangerous Beloved isn t flawless, and it s not one of my all time favorite books or anything However, it is a great classic, and I think everyone who hasn t already should read it well, actually, let me amend that A lot of people on here, as noted, hate this book If you struggle to follow a slightly nonlinear narrative or are white and feel personally affronted by descriptions of historical wrongs perpetrated by white people on black people, you might chose another book club selection Everyone else, though, I think should give this a go, especially if you love ghost stories P.S I just had a really fun idea for a literary double date, which would be Cathy from Wuthering Heights with Beloved, and Medea with Sethe They could all go on the Oprah show together and talk about their traumatic experiences I would definitely, definitely watch that, and I bet other people would too BelovedYou are my sisterYou are my daughterYou are my face you are meI have found you again you have come back to meYou are my belovedYou are mineYou are mineIt s 6 o clock in the morning and I have finished with one of the best books I have ever read in the course of my short life I am sleepless and I need a moment to organize my thoughts, sort out my feelings Come back to real life But I can t A part of me is still with Sethe and her daughters, Denver and Beloved at 124 A part ofBelovedYou are my sisterYou are my daughterYou are my face you are meI have found you again you have come back to meYou are my belovedYou are mineYou are mineIt s 6 o clock in the morning and I have finished with one of the best books I have ever read in the course of my short life I am sleepless and I need a moment to organize my thoughts, sort out my feelings Come back to real life But I can t A part of me is still with Sethe and her daughters, Denver and Beloved at 124 A part of me is being tied to a pole and whipped mercilessly for eating a shoat I skinned, butchered and cooked myself A part of me is giving birth to children of fathers who forced themselves on me A part of me is still wondering whether my husband Halle is out there alive and free or long dead A part of me is burying the daughter I killed with a handsaw because I couldn t live to see her being pushed into the endless abyss of torture and humiliation that I had to endure myself A part of me is engraving the wordBelovedon the headstone of my dead girl, because she has no name But it is not I It is Sethe and Sethe is not I.I m not even Baby Suggs Sethe s mother in law who never had a chance to recognize that she was a human being with a beating heart Baby Suggs, who only looked at her own hands at the sunset of life and came to the realization that they were her own Her very own for her own use and not the use of another Baby Suggs, who was forced to accept the kindness of being bought out of slave labour by her own son, at the cost of never seeing him again, never knowing what happened to him.I m not Paul D, being made to wear neck braces as punishment for an act of belligerence, unable to move his head Deeply afraid of starting a new life and adding a purpose to it not knowing what to do with the new found freedom after the Civil War Afraid of loving too much and losing too much because of it.I m just a lucky Indian girl who was born in an era free from the worst form of human rights violation that ever existed on the planet I was not alive during the period of systematic brutalization of one particular race by another just because one proclaimed racial superiority over the other.I was not in the plantations of Kentucky or Georgia or the Carolinas before or after the Civil War I wasn t in the hell called Sweet Home.But Sethe was So were Halle, Paul D, Sixo, Paul A and Baby Suggs and the unnamed ones And a part of me is with them and I still cannot wrest it away.I can perhaps ramble on and on and still be completely unable to write a proper review ofBelovedAnd I won t even try to summarize the book in a few sentences, since that would be deeply irreverent of me Beloved is not just a masterpiece, not even just a remarkable literary achievement Beloved is the beauty of the resilience of the human spirit Beloved is about hope and endurance Beloved tells us about unspeakable cruelty and abuse inflicted on humanity by humanity itself Beloved reveals festering psychological wounds, deep emotional scars that could never ever heal Beloved is profoundly lyrical and empathetic in its depiction of grotesque events that unfolded during the most ignominious part of America s history Beloved wrenches your heart out, shreds it into a million tiny pieces but then stitches all the pieces together and hands your heart back to you all bloodied and messed up.Maybe a few years down the line when I read Beloved again, I will write acoherent review and sound less emotional Maybe I will get every cryptic message Toni Morrison intended for her reader to receive and decode Maybe I will not But I will try.And I will read this book again when I feel like my life is difficult or I can t go on any I m sure Sethe and Beloved will be there to hold my hands and lead me forward.I cannot write any I must go and find myself another tissue.P.S Apologies for the spoilers I have ended up including in the review But I just had to write this the way I did I don t give books low marks lightly If anything, I am prone to being carried away by the author s enthusaism and rate bookshighly than they deserve I am an aspiring author, myself, and that also leads me to be kind to the books.That being said, I really hated this book.I like fantasy and magical realism I find the dreams and allegories that live just underneath the skin of the world we canreadily see and touch endlessly fascinating I like my stories intense and emotional, and I I don t give books low marks lightly If anything, I am prone to being carried away by the author s enthusaism and rate bookshighly than they deserve I am an aspiring author, myself, and that also leads me to be kind to the books.That being said, I really hated this book.I like fantasy and magical realism I find the dreams and allegories that live just underneath the skin of the world we canreadily see and touch endlessly fascinating I like my stories intense and emotional, and I like it when characters are so full of passion that it obscures their sense of the world around them.That being said, I really hated this book.I found Beloved incomprehensible to the point of absurdity It s one thing to have a book that is full of magic and poetry or to have a character s passion overwhelm their ability to describe the world from time to time, but I also need to know what is going on For the story to grab me, I need to know what the story is.Did I mention that I really hated this book I know it s trendy to read Toni Morrison, but I recommend this book to absolutely no one I found it a borderline insulting waste of my time