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Infanticide Uncondemned: Reflections on Trauma in Morrison’s "Beloved"

By Lotta Sirkka

Abstract

This essay sets out to prove how the story of infanticide in Morrison’s Beloved was not condemned by community and how the communal response implicitly ratified the murderous mother’s remorselessness. I refute the main character’s maternal love as a driving force for the killing and claim that the chronic trauma of slavery has left her incapable of having any feelings, which affects her loving her children and leaves her unable to feel remorse for the murder she committed. I also argue that the community response ratified her reaction, as most of them shared similar traumas and a collective mutuality and responsibility for the murder

Topics: Toni Morrison, Beloved, trauma, remorse, maternal love
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:gupea.ub.gu.se:2077/26173

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