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Gender Studies I EN2011 – Fall 2010 – Terry Goldie Lecture 12 – Dec 2 Beloved - It is one of the greats because of the way it is written. - In order to accomplish what Morrison has accomplished the form is essential. - One of the important things is how it’s written is the sense of how to transmit that certain understanding. - There are many symbolic things in this novel. - The novel is a highly written text that is very self-consciously about people that are largely illiterate. - A culture that is oral and based on a shared understanding. - Orallity is all about content. - A text really has no context; you can read it anywhere. - Print isolates you and removes you from the world around you. - The oral world, the world without writing, is all about content. It’s all about sharing. - Context in which oral material is transmitted. - It’s a complete world in which everything is understood within the context. - What you live, what you experience, what you are as oppose to knowledge carried in printed form. Paul D’s Tobacco Tin - Metaphorical tin – he keeps it near his heart and keeps all his personal feelings and thing shut. - Turnip o He is amazed at the thought of having that turnip. o The idea that Paul D could be a human with property rather than a human who is property. - The tobacco is important even without papers – represents pleasure and a commodity. - For him, the tobacco tin is more symbolic than the earrings but is symbolic in the same sense. Mother’s Milk - They steal her milk after she sends her children away. - She must get her milk to her baby. - Represents the most basic connection of nutrition of the human connection. - What slavery does is that it cuts you off. - The way she was brought up was not brought up in that sense of nurturing. - Central for nutrition and bonding. - Why do they take her milk? o To degrade her. o To be perverse. o To engage in the same kind of thing of any demeaning sexuality. o The interfere with what she sees as her innate relationship with her children. - Ella had a white baby and she just let it starve. - Ella represents the rejection of motherhood in the situation of slavery, the way it can destroy you. - Paul D is kept in cages – the men are expected to give blowjobs. - The female is sexy and reproductive and the male is sexy in an over determined sexuality. - The reason the slave owner would have them give blowjobs is to reduce the masculinity of the man. - The man slave has the problem of emasculation. The Rooster - An animal that has the freedom that the slaves don’t and the rooster feels superior Sweet Home - Meaning? Connection? Symbolic? o Sweet Home Alabama (song) suggests that the skies are blue and that everything’s perfect. o The beautiful south & country music or racism & slavery. - Missing something: Home Sweet Home. - It was a fairly sweet home for the slaves that worked there because they were more respected there… Therefore it was a good home in relation to the other homes. - Good slavery. - During the American civil war there were situations were slaves fought the opposing soldiers not because they were forced to but they were afraid of losing their home. - If slavery is the only thing you have ever known then perhaps it can be the only sense of existence. - Morrison shows that it’s never a home, it’s never sweet and you will give up anything to escape it. - Home implies safety, comfort, family. - They don’t belong to the home they are belonging to the property. - The sense of belonging is about roots, (where we were born), the roots are somewhere else. - Many Afri-Centric movements that have existed is because Africans came to Canada/USA as slaves. The majority of people can trace it back to slavery. - The idea of home is in some sense lost. - Why is it a better place? Why is it sweeter? o Baby Suggs is not mistreated – she is allowed to be bought out of slavery by her son. o They allowed not marriage but ‘marriage’ – not legal marriage. o Mr. Gardener treats his slaves like men, therefore his wife is safe. - The idea of allowing your property be human – letting his slaves argue with him. - What they normally do is they would put a good male slave have sex with female slaves to have more slaves. - Humans as property as valuable – the actual value of the property is so important that it recognizes how important humans are. - The actual value of a person – their possibility of reproduction and working their whole lives. 124 - It’s missing something for both oral and written people. - Symbolic as a written person but as an oral person you can also ‘see’ it. - What is missing? The #3. o Beloved would be the third child – missing. o The three shadows holding hands. o Symbolic in different cultures. - Added up: 7 o A lucky number. o Seven-o. o Beloved is a 7 letter word.  Zeta is a 7 (in Spanish) and therefore connected to beloved.  Beloved is important because it’s the title of the novel and t
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