Dear ‘Beloved’ Toni Morrison

Quote from Toni Morrison, Beloved

One of my New Years resolution was to redeem myself from Toni Morrison. I can proudly say that January has just passed and I have already fulfilled this resolution.

I was overwhelmed with guilt when Toni Morison passed. That was because it dawned on me that I had not read any of her literary works.

As a graduate of English Language and Literature, it felt an abomination that I had not been acquainted with Toni Morrison on the literary forum. I therefore pledged that I must get on the Morrison band wagon.

So I have finally done it. I have read a Toni Morrison book. ………….

And ‘Beloved’ was the chosen one. To be honest I did not find this an easy read I had to read the first two pages twice before I actually got into the flow. This was probably equally due to the uncomfortable train journey I was on. Don’t get me wrong, there was flow. It’s just that I was standing up and trying to steady myself and at the same time trying to avoid someone’s bag which was sticking into my back.

I was feeling quite chuffed. I was redeeming myself from Miss Morrison. What fascinates me is that in ‘Beloved’ Morrison has taken the true story of an African-American slave, Margaret Garner, and produced a literary work of art.

Her style of writing is not at all what I expected. I find it deeply lyrical and of a mature nature. Her descriptions are rich, however, not overburdensome with adjectives. I am not a fan of books where the author employs so many adjectives. Her narrative comes across very deep, yet with few words. Her choice of words conveys a deep descriptive message. You need to fully focus. Hence me reading the first few pages multiple times.

Morrison, use of flashback neatly ties the story of Margaret Garner. However, the flashback occasionally takes us off the present day path. But, in my opinion, this the best literary technique in order for us to understand the full story.

This story fascinates me. Not only because it is a work of art but because it is based on true life. It shows a mothers love. A mother who kills her precious child in order to spare it from a life of slavery. Some may see this as a selfish act. However, I see it as a selfless act. She sacrificed her daughter in exchange for grief, pain and mental torture.

Without giving away the plot, this book increases my empathy with the black American history and causes me to value our present day freedom and liberty. Its a book I highly recommend.

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