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An Analysis of Beloved Through Deconstructive Theory

Author WeiFeiJuan
Tutor CuiYaPing
School Northwestern University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Beloved deconstruction binary opposition deconstructive reading tragic ending
CLC I712.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
Downloads 305
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Toni Morrison (1931-) is an outstanding contemporary novelist in the20th century American literary history. Her novel Beloved was published in1987, which is always considered as her representative work. This novel tells readers of a long and silent, but brutal and bloody period in black history, which is an essential part of American reality. It achieves such extraordinary success and attracts so many readers that many critics regard this book as a milestone in black literary history. This thesis attempts to analyze the novel from the deconstructive perspective to deny Sethe’s twisted maternal love and expose the cause of this tragic ending.This thesis begins with a brief introduction to Toni Morrison and Beloved. And it gives a view on previous studies both at home and abroad on this novel, followed by an analysis of the deconstructive theory’s birth, its development and its principles and characteristics. Then this thesis uses the deconstructive theory to deny twisted maternal love. Then a new image of the black who live under slavery is recreated, opposing traditional view. Meanwhile, the white’s image is also rebuilt. Finally, the thesis analyzes the cause of this tragic maternal love through the deconstructive reading. Apart from the slavery, the community’s indifference and Sethe’s characteristics also play an important role in the tragic ending.This thesis is an attempt to present a complete interpretation through applying the deconstructive theory, producing a better understanding of the profound themes. It is also hoped that this thesis will provide a new angle to further research on Beloved.

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