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Word Count: 2,198
Discuss the elements which keep interpretative possibilities open in Beloved How far are these resolved or not by the end of the narrative definitions belong to the definers not the definedBeloved p190 When Sixo provides an explanation for shooting shoat on Mr Garners property this is schoolteachers immediate and uncompromising reaction to the slaves attempt at self-justification In the eyes of the white man the slaves the defined are not entitled to the privilege of giving or even creating their own perspective on events The phrasing of his opinion also suggests that there can only ever be one completely true version of everything each event can ultimately be defined in one indisputable and finite account his This in itself is only one perspective however a fact that Morrisons complicated narrative technique suggests subtly and yet unequivocally Rebecca Ferguson observes that while the language of the dominant culture and the written word itself have all too often been potent instruments in the oppression of black people not to have mastery of them is to be rendered impotent in ways that matter greatly Morrison is very aware of this paradox which she herself faces as a black writer and the force of language and communication is greatly emphasised in Beloved The text vividly presents the huge extent of interpretative possibilities relating to issues such motherhood slavery and black history in particular by employing a variety of narratives which focus on the same events While Morrison thus proves gloriously that contrary to schoolteachers stance black people are many-dimensional humans with a full range of emotions and values her most striking achievement is simultaneously to demonstrate the ways in which endless interpretation can become futile Sethes expression of maternal love in the killing of her child for instance is misinterpreted as a savage act by both black and white characters in the book and also possibly by the reader only she can explain it This sense of struggling
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