Abstract—One of the issues artistically dramatized in Toni Morrison’s masterpiece Beloved (1987) is the callous exploitation of slaves’ body as a means of production by ruthless slave-holders. The appalling handling of slaves as subhuman properties, in addition to the degrading notion of inferiority implanted in their mind damagingly impeded the formation and development of any sense of human selfhood in the long-exploited slaves. Because of their lifelong enchainment, the slaves who escaped to the North or attained their freedom in other ways did not know at the early stages of their free life how to conduct themselves as their own masters and enjoy their dearly-gained freedom. The wise old woman of Morrison’s novel accurately comprehends this predicament, and thus attempts to help other ex-slaves eliminate their internalized sense of inferiority and discover the necessary, proper means to gain the mastery of their body and hence “claim” their freed self and thereby regain their sense of human dignity.
Index Terms—Exploitation, mutilation, subhuman other, reclamation of the self
Sima Farshid is with the English Department, Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Karaj 31485 Iran (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cite: Sima Farshid, "Reclamation of the Exploited Body in Toni Morrison’s Beloved," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 497-500, 2012.