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Word Count: 916
Toni Morrison was born in Lorain Ohio on February 18 1931 Morrison was born in the middle of the Great Depression and her father struggle to make enough money to support the family Regardless of the familys poverty Morrisons childhood was not bleak The family maintained a household atmosphere filled with laughter and music and a large part of the Wofford familys entertainment was storytelling especially ghost stories This tradition storytelling carried on into Morrisons writing In a 1984 interview Morrison stated that she strove to maintain an important characteristic of African American art in her literature the ability to be both print and oral literature to combine those aspects so that the stories can be read in silence of course but one should be able to hear them as well To make the story appear oral meandering effortless spoken- to have the reader work with the author in the construction of the book-is whats important qtd in Harris 1 This black tradition of passing stories along orally served an important role in maintaining black history at a time when there were laws against educating blacks that hindered them in passing their history on by other means Morrison employs this oral tradition to delve into the past of her characters through their own words Morrison uses this tradition to delve into the memories of the characters in the worlds she creates and analyze the affect those memories had on the minds of the characters Morrisons Beloved is an example of this use of folklore and memory as well as the affects of such memories on the psyche of the survivors Regardless of the fact that slavery has ended it still affects the present and future lives of those that experienced it The story began when Morrison read an article about Margaret Garner a former slave who had attempted to kill her children when the threat of returning to slavery arose The entire
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