Type of Thesis
Dr. Richelle Munkhoff
Dr. Jeremy Green
Dr. Kwame Holmes
By synthesizing Toni Morrison’s historical fiction novel Beloved with the historical records of the Narrative of Henry Watson, A Fugitive Slave, and other documents, readers can distinguish the ways that these texts present the notion of an impossibility of a complete understanding of the black slave experience. Specifically, for the contemporary black reader, the problem of having access to one’s own heritage arises within this impossibility. As an experience that was largely undocumented, and fundamentally distinct from any other experience, the present day audience must learn to accept when limitations arise in their comprehension of this history. These texts both force the readers to take responsibility for the knowledge that can be obtained, and respect the knowledge that remains distanced and unattainable as part of the horrific black slave experience.
Riney, Lauren N., "“It was not a story to pass on”: Examining the Impossibility of a Complete Understanding of the Black Slave Experience in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and the Narrative of Henry Watson, A Fugitive Slave" (2016). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1068.