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Resentment Sanctioned : Reading Sethe’s Anger in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

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Authors
Lee, Hyeon Jeong
Issue Date
2014
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.37 No.2, pp. 187-216
Keywords
subjectivityselfhoodinjustice of slaveryrepression of angerenactment of resentmentforgiveness
Abstract
An ex-slave woman’s getting angry toward her slavemaster seems to be natural. Yet in Morrison’s novel Beloved, it turns out to be very difficult for the ex-slave woman Sethe to get angry toward her slavemaster Schoolteacher. Indeed, the novel’s main plot is to depict how Sethe comes to recognize the injustice of slavery and her own experience in the South as moral injury at which it is natural for her to direct her anger. Referring to literary critics and philosophers, who support that anger is an expression of the self’s sense of moral injury and of her claim of being equal with the one who has morally injured the self, this article purposes to show how Sethe regains her selfhood in relation to the racial other of white master by following the trajectory of her emotional responses to the injustice of slavery. In the beginning of the novel, Sethe feels sad about the past rather than being angry about the moral injury and the injustice of slavery. Being saturated with sad memories of her past, Sethe’s anger is repressed and displaced until her dead daughter Beloved returns and makes her remember her past expeirence of slavery on Sweet Home. Eventually, this article argues that it is not until Sethe enacts the anger toward the slavemaster that she comes to affirm her self and to be forgiven and embraced by the black community.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/93898
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 37 Number 1/2 (2014)
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