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African Spiritual Traditions in the Novels of Toni
Morrison$
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K. Zauditu-Selassie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033280

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033280.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 16 November 2019

Living with the Dead: Memory and Ancestral Presence in Beloved

Living with the Dead: Memory and Ancestral Presence in Beloved

Chapter:
(p.144) (p.145) 6 Living with the Dead: Memory and Ancestral Presence in Beloved
Source:
African Spiritual Traditions in the Novels of Toni Morrison
Author(s):

K. Zauditu-Selassie

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813033280.003.0007

This chapter examines the manifestation of the concepts of memory and ancestral presence in Toni Morrison's novel Beloved. It analyzes the main character Sethe and ways in which the ancestor, as memory, works in consonance with African iconography, and ritual to engender psychic wholeness. It suggests that Morrison's inscriptions physically re-creates the tight packing of bodies in the holds of ships that brought Africans as captives to America, with their arms crossed, knees drawn up. It also highlights the importance of ritual re-enactment in Sethe's process of revision, rememory and remembrance of the ancestor.

Keywords:   memory, ancestral presence, Toni Morrison, Beloved, African iconography, ritual re-enactment, rememory, revision, remembrance, ancestor

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