论托妮莫里森《宠儿》中女性自我身份的觉醒 On the Awakening of Womens Self-Identity in Toni Morrisons Beloved毕业论文
As the global population mobility accelerates, the issue about the identity of the minorities has become heated and therefore the relevant analyses have increased in recent years. As an important reflection of the human society, the literature works are a good way to analyze the identity problem. Among the minority writers in America, the African American writers have been notable in those years. As the first and the only African American female writer who has been awarded the Nobel Prize, Toni Morrison stands in the history of American literature with her consummate writing techniques and the deepest insight for American Black culture. This paper chooses her fifth novel, Beloved to probe the awakening of women’s self-identity, especially the black women, such as Sethe, the protagonist in Beloved. Based on the close textual reading and character analysis, this paper aims to provide a virtually comprehensive analysis and illustration for the awakening of women’s self-identity. There are four parts in this paper: The first part is an introduction to the self-identity from the perspective of psychology and the specific discussion on women’s identity. The second part is an elaboration of the female characters in the book. The third part illustrates the awakening and construction of self-identity through several generations. The final part is the conclusion of whole paper.
Key Words: Toni Morrison; Beloved; African American female; self-identity
1 Introduction 1
2 Self-Identity 3
2.1 Definition of self-identity from the perspective of psychology 3
2.2 Specific discussion on women’s identity 4
3 Elaborations on the Female Characters in Beloved 6
3.1 Women of the older generation 6
3.1.1 Baby Suggs 6
3.1.2 Sethe’s mother 7
3.2 Women of middle-aged generation: Sethe 8
3.3 Women of young generation 9
4 Awakening and Construction of Women’s Self-Identity 10
4.1 Connection with the black community 10
4.2 Family ties and social relations 11
4.3 Rememory brought by external stimulus 12
4.4 Impact of the white people 14
5 Conclusion 15
On the Awakening of Women’s Self-Identity in Toni Morrison’s Beloved
As the population mobility accelerates, the analysis on the identity of minorities in America has increased a lot in recent years. As a reflection of human society, the literature constitutes a good way to analyze the identity problem and to express the opinions about the identity issues. African Americans are the unique ones among people who come to America, the new continent. They come to America not out of their own will but being sold there, maltreated there and finally get freedom there. Therefore, their identity problem is much more complicated. Among the African American writers, Toni Morrison plays a very important role in the contemporary American literature. She is good at creating the detailed and specific characters in her works. Different from the popular documentary writing at her time, she aims to talk about the psychological pains of the black people, which makes her works deeper in thoughts and has a broad meaning for the whole human being. (Wang, 2009) Her fifth novel Beloved is a good illustration for her adroit writing skills and the painful history of her people. The female characters in this book are most notable. In Morrison’s works, the female characters are usually more powerful and stronger than the male counterparts. Even if Morrison denies that she has a feminist tendency, the female characters in Beloved actually experience the self development which is advocated by the feminists. To some degree, they all experience the process of the awakening of women’s self-identity through several generations.
Toni Morrison is firstly introduced to China in the 1980s. After Toni Morrison wins the Nobel Prize, the research on her novels soars greatly. In those years, the research and studies on her works have increased a lot and some of her works are included into the college textbooks. As for Beloved, the foreign and domestic researches mainly focus on the description of the painful African American history, such as the racism, slavery, and trauma from the thematic perspective, the narrative techniques in her works, such as magical realism and the legends and myths originating from the African traditions and inheritance, (Yang, 2011) and the analysis of certain characters, especially the intriguing image of Beloved. During the research history of more than 30 years, some specific study methods have been employed to analyze the African American female writer, such as the traditional ideologically socio-realism (Jiang, 2002), comparative study (Xiu, 2012) and the feminist perspective in recent years. However, the specific illustration on the characters in Beloved has not been given enough attention. The former papers tend to discuss the female characters respectively instead of seeing them as the development process of the awakening of self-identity.